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Stretching at the computer

 Foto Estiramientos ...

 

Sometimes, we are doomed to spend hours in front of a screen, for personal or professional reasons.  Sitting for a long time in a static position can cause muscular and joint problems, which can be reduced if we take some preventive measures.

If the position you adopt is uncomfortable, avoid it. The basic recommendation is not to remain too long with the same posture.   If possible, try to get up occasionally and walk over to the printer, or the water dispenser, instead of sending a colleague.

But more can be done. Even when seated you can still stretch.  The following are simple (and discreet) exercises which, if given very little time, will help you to overcome the feeling of tiredness and tension we feel when sitting in front of the screen.  The best option is to exercise three times, but if you do not have sufficient time, reduce the number.  Don’t forget that breathing should be deep, and in line with the movements.  It’s the key! 

Neck:

Seated - not just any way, but with your back straight, and relaxed, with lower back against the chair, feet on the floor and pelvis bones flat on the seat,  let arms fall to your sides of their own accord. You can stretch frequently if you follow this initial position.  Try with these four:

  • Inhale deeply and release air slowly while you tilt your head, as though moving your ear to your shoulder. This is as important to do as the rest of the very slow movements, since an abrupt gesture could have counterproductive effects.  Then inhale again and repeat on the other side.
  • Perform forward head bend,slowly guiding the chin to the chest.     Then move in the opposite direction, gently taking your head backwards.
  • Look one way, then the other, as though you are going to cross the street.  At each turn, move your head as far as you can, without straining, and remain in that position for a few seconds before returning to look frontwards.
  • Rotate your head slowly, first one way and then the other.

Back, shoulders and chest:

  • Leave your hands on both sides and make circular movements with your shoulders, first going forward and then backwards.
  • Link hands or place one on top of the other. Then stretch your arms upwards as though trying to reach the ceiling.
  • Grasp hands behind your back (and backrest) and slowly move them upwards.  Don’t strain.  When you realise that you have reached your limit, hold that position for a few seconds.

Hands:

  • Rotate your wrists.  First to one side, then the other, then both hands inward and then outward.  Then repeatedly squeeze and stretch your fingers.

Eyes:

  • We can also use different techniques to reduce eyestrain.  For example, by placing bowl-shaped hands on closed eyelids and trying to relax.  Another tip is to rest your eyes frequently, looking toward the horizon for about 20 seconds every 25 minutes, without taking your eyes off the screen.  Don’t forget to frequently hydrate your eyeball.

         

Some of the proposed exercises, together with other more difficult ones if you dare - can become a daily routine without moving from your desk. Find a comfortable position, deeply inhale and exhale, and away you go!

 

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