Thumbnail image of: Exercises for the Workplace: Illustration

Exercises for the Workplace

It is important to take frequent breaks during your workday and to avoid sitting for more than 1 hour at a time. In the course of a workday you should take a mini-exercise break for 1 to 2 minutes once an hour. Take longer breaks of 3 to 5 minutes once every 2 to 3 hours.

These exercises can help you feel less tired and lower your risk of overuse injuries. They can be done during short or long breaks.

  • Pectoralis stretch: Stand in an open doorway or corner with both hands slightly above your head on the door frame or wall. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders. Hold 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Thoracic extension: Sit in a chair and clasp both arms behind your head. Gently arch backward and look up toward the ceiling. Repeat 10 times. Do this several times each day.
  • Arm slide on wall: Sit or stand with your back against a wall and your elbows and wrists against the wall. Slowly slide your arms upward as high as you can while keeping your elbows and wrists against the wall. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12.
  • Scapular squeeze: While sitting or standing with your arms by your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
  • Wrist extension: Hold a soup can or small weight in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist up. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight of the object you are holding.
  • Scalene stretch: Sit or stand and clasp both hands behind your back. Lower your left shoulder and tilt your head toward the right until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then come back to the starting position. Then lower your right shoulder and tilt your head toward the left. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-05-22
Last reviewed: 2014-05-22
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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