OK, thank you for checking in to read this!
One of the biggest points to keep in mind if you are working from home or playing a lot of video games or doing the webinar thing….take note of how long you are sitting in the same position and doing the same activity. Take breaks every 45-60 minutes. Set a timer. When the time goes off, take a break, stretch and drink water…plain water or water with lemon.
Stretches: As with any stretching program, please start out slowly until you feel a gentle stretch. Some are less flexible than others so don’t compare yourself to others when doing this. Take your time and build up! Don’t hurt your self 🙂
1. Finger Stretch
Reach your right arm straight out in front of your body, palm facing away from you, and fingers facing down. Starting with your pinky and moving toward your thumb, gently massage each finger (one at a time) from the base to the tip of the finger. Hold the tip of eachfinger and move it toward your chest for a gentle stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds on each finger. Switch sides. In doing the finger massages, you are also hitting some very important acupuncture points, take your time and massage a little longer where you feel tenderness.
Tip: Throughout this exercise, stretch your palm forward and spread your fingers away from each other.
2. One-Arm Wrist Stretch
Reach your right arm out in front of you, palm and fingers pointing down. Keep your shoulder down and relaxed. Grab the tip of all four fingers with your left hand and draw them toward your chest. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and release. Then flip your hand so that your palm is facing you with fingers still pointing down. Now, hold all four fingers with your left hand and point your fingertips toward your body to stretch the top of your wrist. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat on your left hand.
3. Wrist Rolls
Bring your fingers into your palms to create a soft fist with each hand. Roll your wrists in circles about 10 times in each direction (you may feel and hear snapping…as long as there is no pain). Then bring your inner wrists together with your fingertips gently touching each other. Start to roll your inner hands into your outer hands creating a circle toward, and then away from, your body. Your inner wrists will touch and then your outer wrists will touch while your fingers follow the movement. Repeat 10 times. Sorry i picture of this one, but it is all about using range of motion!
4. Finger-Wrist-Shoulder Stretch
Interlace your fingers and stretch your arms out in front of you with your palms facing away from you. Focus on lengthening your inner elbows while keeping your shoulders pressed down. Hold this position for about 20 seconds and then reach over your head, fingers still interlaced, with palms facing the sky. Draw your arms back while pressing your shoulders down. Keep your core muscles engaged to keep your lower ribs from moving forward. You’re likely to feel this more in your shoulders and it can be pretty intense. Don’t forget to breathe! Do each stretch twice for about 20 to 30 seconds.
5. Shoulder Rolls
Roll the front of your shoulders forward and up as if you are trying to squeeze your ears with your shoulders. Hold them there for a moment and then slide your shoulders back and down. Do 5 in that direction, and then repeat 5 times in the opposite direction.
6. Forearm Stretch
Stand next to a desk, low counter, or other surface that you can lean against. Place both hands on the desk, palms down, with your fingers pointing toward you. Keep your shoulders down and lean your torso back slightly. Try to keep the base of your palms down and slightly bend your elbows in toward your body. Draw the weight of your body into your heels so you lean back and not forward. Hold for 30 seconds and then shake your arms out.
Tip: If you’re tall, you might have to squat a little, but don’t compromise your low back.
Preventing Repetitive Injuries
- Give your hands a break from your keypad during long work hours—see note at the beginning…set a timer!
- Try to keep wrists flat or “neutral” while typing
- Relax your shoulders
- Set yourself up for proper alignment at your desk. You should be able to rest your elbows alongside your body, and sit with a tall spine and neutral wrists. Be sure your head is stacked over your shoulders, not reaching forward.
- Use your whole hand, not just your fingers, when gripping or opening objects.