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Ergonomics: Exercises to Stay Healthy at Long Work Desk Hours

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

Most people that work in offices stay at their desks working for at least four hours every work day.

Some may not have realized how much havoc this causes to them, while most people have made complaints of lower back and neck aches after a few months of sitting, typing and working.

However, you do not have to be doomed to a lifetime of discomfort because you work in an office, when the answers to your problems are pretty straightforward.

To save yourself the aches, you need an ergonomically safe workstation and a few stretches at work can get rid of the aches you already suffer from.

Optimize Your Workspace

Only few companies offer ergonomic consultations to its employees so you might need to cover this one yourself.


Use the right chair

Your chair has the greatest influence on your posture. So you get this right and you’re more than halfway there. The basic rule is that the chair should give you a straight back and allow a bend in your arm and knees between 90 to 120 degrees.

-         Table should be at the right height.

Ergonomist encourage adjustable chairs, but the general height is put at 73cm by the Canadian Standards Association. The table should allow your legs comfortably under it and your arms bent at an angle of 90 to 120 degrees when placed above it.

-         Monitor profile

Place your monitor at arm’s length facing up at an angle between 10 and 20 degrees. The lighting should be just enough for you to see clearly depending on the lighting of the room.

-         Keyboard and mouse

Place your keyboard in a position such that while typing, your elbows are comfortably beside you. Your mouse should be roughly at a similar distance.


Stretching exercises at Long Work Desk Hours

Working at a desk or computer involves hardly any changes in position which puts you at risk of developing muscle aches. What is recommended is that you take a 5 minutes break for every hour you spend working.

Here are some simple stretches you can do during this short break;

1.  Hand and wrist

-          Tilt your fully extended wrists and hold for a few seconds then do it in the other direction.

-          Flex your wrist using your other hand as aid for a proper stretch

-          Extend your fingers outwards fully and slowly release, then make a fist, hold and release.

2.  Neck

-          Turn your neck left as far as possible and keep for 2 seconds. Repeat in the other direction and several times.

-          With your head straight, tilt your head to your left as though you want to touch your shoulder with your ear and hold for 5 seconds.

3.  Shoulder

-          Shoulder roll- Raise your shoulders towards you ear moving back and forth in a circular fashion.

-          Extend one arm into the elbow of the other. Using the other arm, press towards your chest and hold.

4.  Chest

-          While standing upright, place your hands behind your head and allow your fingers interlock.

-          In this position, stretch your chest by clutching your shoulder blades.

5.  Back

-          While standing upright with your arms raised, keep your elbows straight and bend your waist backwards and to your sides.

Now that you know the importance of stretching exercises, you don’t have to put yourself at risk of body aches. Remember, that can be dangerous to your physique overtime.

The above mentioned stretching exercises can help to relieve neck and lower back pains, improve your working posture, and enhance your general health. Besides, your efficiency can be boosted when you take breaks to do some stretching exercises. So ensure you try these exercises from time to time. But if you feel persistent aches, ensure you consult your doctor.


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