4 exercises to counter the effects of sitting at a computer

Posted on: February 15th, 2011

As a freelancer, you probably spend too many hours hunched over your computer keyboard. I know I do.

The result is that I’m starting to get round shoulders, so I’ve been given a series of exercises to try and straighten my posture.  I thought I’d share them with you.

1. Get a big bath towel and roll it up on the floor like a big sausage. Lie on it so your spine  is on the towel and stretch your arms wide open on the floor. Stay in this stretch for at least two minutes. If you happen to have a foam tube, then it’s even more effective. I don’t have one at home so I also do this stretch at the gym where there are loads of foam tubes.

2. Stand in a doorway with you arms at right angles on the door jam. Take a SMALL step forward with both feet and hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat three times. Make sure your arms are at shoulder height to get the maximum stretch.

shoulder stretch

3. Take small handweights (eg 1-2 kg) and lift your arms in a V above your head. Lower the weights slowly and you’ll feel your upper back muscles working. Do 15-20 reps. This is a good one as we tend not to use our upper back muscles much if we’re sat at our computers a lot.

exercises handweights

4. Kneel on all fours and do a cat stretch by lifting the middle part of your back as high as you can. Then reverse the stretch so your back is hollowed.

cat stretch

And don’t forget to take regular breaks from sitting at your computer! ideally, we should get up and walk around for a couple of minutes at least once an hour.

How do you counter the effects of sitting at a desk all day long?

14 Responses to “4 exercises to counter the effects of sitting at a computer”

  1. Sarah
    March 23rd, 2011

    Great exercises – my neck is my trouble spot and these look like they’ll hit it like a laser!

  2. Freelance FactFile
    March 24th, 2011

    They are certainly helping for me. Plus, I now sit on a Swiss ball at my desk which means I sit much straighter -without even trying.

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