Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 12

As a part of my day job I work with people in my office to make sure their desks and chairs are setup properly. After talking with a few different people, I've come to realize that while we may be ergonomically setup at work, we don't do the same things at home. And anyone who works from home (especially writers) we may not even be aware that there is a problem. This can cause pain in our back, wrists, arms, and legs. For this Thursday Thirteen, I thought I would post some stretches that you can do to help with sore muscles that you would get from sitting at the computer for long periods of time.

Thirteen Stretches

1. Shoulder blade squeeze - Sit up tall with your chin tucked in against your chest. Squeeze your shoulder blades down and in. Hold this for 3 seconds.

2. Arms overhead shoulder blade squeeze - This is an advanced version of the shoulder blade squeeze exercise. Start with your hands comfortably positioned over your head. Squeeze your shoulder blades down and in. Hold for a count of 3.

3. Backward bends while standing - Place your hands in the small of your back and slowly bend backwards until you feel a gentle stretch in your trunk. Remember that stretching should not cause any pain. Hold the stretch for 3 seconds.

4. Hand squeezes - Begin with your fingers fully extended. Initially make a normal fist and squeeze as tightly as you can for 5 seconds. Next, straighten your fingers and then touch your fingertips to the base of your palm.

5. Wrist extension and flexing - Grasp your hand and hold your fingers with the other hand. Slowly bend your wrist down until you fell a stretch. Then slowly bend your wrist up until you feel the stretch.

6. Tennis elbow stretch - With your arm held down to your side, turn your arm in so that your palm faces backwards. Slowly bend your wrist, bringing your palm up towards the ceiling. You should feel a gentle stretch in the back of your wrist, forearm, and up into your elbow. You can increase the stretch by pushing your shoulder towards the floor.

7. Golfer's elbow stretch - With your hand at your side and the palm facing forward extend the hand and fingers backwards.

8. Shoulder shrugs - Lift your shoulders up towards your ears as high as you can. Hold them there for 3 seconds and then let them drop down as far as they will comfortably go and hold the stretch for 3 seconds.

9. Neck relaxer - Drop your head slowly to the left, trying to touch your left ear to your left shoulder. Repeat on the right side. Slowly drop your chin to your chest, turn your head all the way to the left, and then turn all the way to the right.

10. Tilt neck forwards - Gently tilt your head forward to stretch the back of the neck. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Hold only tensions that feel good.

11. Shoulder blade stretch - Interlace fingers, and then straighten arms out in front of you. The palms should be facing away from you as you do this stretch. Feel the stretch in the arms and through the upper part of the back (shoulder blade area). Hold stretch for 10-20 seconds.

12. Shoulder stretch - Interlace fingers then turn palms upwards above your head as you straighten your arms. Think of elongating your arms as you feel a stretch through arms and upper sides of rib cage. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

13. Chest stretch - The next stretch is done with fingers interlaced behind your back. Slowly turn your elbows inward while straightening your arms. An excellent stretch for your shoulders and arms. This is good to do when you find yourself slumping forward from your shoulders. This stretch can be done at any time. Hold for 5-15 seconds.

Finding pictures for each of these stretches might prove helpful. You should try and stretch several times a day.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Angela/SciFiChick said...

Now you're just making me feel lazy.

Darla said...

About half of these stretches are part of my daily stretching routine (first thing in the morning, last thing at night). I think I'll add the rest of them--assuming I can remember. They feel great!

Unknown said...

LOL Angela you are too funny! And by the way I keep getting an error when I go to your page and I have to Task Manager out to kill the page. A stack overflow error.

Darla I try to do these when I'm writing at my computer for long periods of time. Keeps me going. :)

Anonymous said...

I spend a lot of time at my computer, and man oh man did I need that list! Thanks so much!

My TT is up: Thirteen Poets who Rock my World. :)

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Very good list! I definitely took some notes. Happy TT! Joely

Colleen Gleason said...

OHHHHH!!!!!! I am so printing this off and putting it next to my computer!

Thank you, thank you thank you!!

My TT's up...things you should know about the vampires in my books, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles...

Carina said...

Great ideas. Any ideas for computer screen eye strain? If I'm on for more than 10 minutes, my eyes hurt so bad I'm nauseous.

Amy Ruttan said...

Great stretches, I've used a couple today already. I'll have to save that list to use all the time.

Daisy Dove said...

Great list! I've printed these off as I have a lot of tension in my neck/shoulders/upper back areas. :) Happy TT!

alisonwonderland said...

i'm going to bookmark this and refer to it often! great list! happy TT!

Angela/SciFiChick said...

Ah.. I need to condense my previous blog entries. I'll fix that.

Annie said...

Great idea! Will have to employ these as I'm at work!!

Happy TT!

Vicky said...

My muscles were screaming while I was reading your list. ;) Something about never getting out and moving. I don't know I ignored them. :)

I'm going to be doing these for sure! Thanks for the list!

Barbara H. said...

Great list! I am bookmarking this page.

Barbara H. @ Stray Thoughts

Michelle said...

I have to remember these. I'm still sore from bootcamp last night. Ugh. LOL

Jaci Burton said...

I'm the world's worst at ergonomics and I've known about these tips for years. And I have a bad back.

Thanks for the reminders. I'll do better, I promise!

Lindsey said...

I might need to print this out! I've always had back problems. I have a little lumbar cushion in my chair, but it doesn't help much.

Dane Bramage said...

I am bookmarking this post so I can refer back when I need to stretch. Now if only I could do something about this stupid chair. I have it "locked" so it doesn't recline but every bit ov movement works the mechanism and when I least expect it, it pops and I star falling back and the sudden jerk to catch myself strains my back. Then I need to do strecting excercises!

Anyway thanks for visiting my Thursday thirteen #27, the 13 Home Repair and Improvement Projects I Have to Do edition.

May said...

I should do these...but like ScifiChick said, you're just making me feel lazy. *g*

Happy TT, Christine!

scooper said...

Am I the only one that sat here and stretched while reading?

Tink said...

You should have seen me while reading your list and trying out the stretches! Great work-out!
Thanks for visiting my art TT.

JAM said...

I was doing some of the right things every day. Our company makes us take online ergonomic training every year. I'll have to pass on the tennis/golf elbow stuff to my wife, her right arm gives her lots of trouble.

Candy Minx said...

I feel better already!

The best thing I ever had at my desk in the past...and I really should go get another one...was one of those inflated exercise balls. I would use it at my desk exclusively and my lower back and stomach really responded. I actually got a tighter set of abs from just surfing the internet!

What a helpful thoughtful list Christine, thanks!

I love stretching, it is my favourite form of excercise next to swimming!

here is my TT list:

Lauren Dane said...

I have to do a lot of these when I'm writing or editing to keep from freezing up and getting sore! Great list.


Julia said...

Hi - I'm new at this TT, so hopefully I do this right *grin*

Christine - those are great list! I do need this list, so am going to print it out. Thanks!

Here Mine! Happy TT!

Caryle said...

Thanks for these! I'm a mess when it comes to ergonomics (I'm too short to be considered average), so my back is always a bit of a mess. :)

And thanks for dropping by my TT today!

Raggedy said...

I tried them.
They are great!
Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
My TT is posted.
Have a wonderful day!
Happy TT'ing!
(")_ (")Š

Spy Scribbler said...

What a great TT! I really don't want anyone to get hurt while typing! Thanks for the stretches!

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone! I'm glad you all found the stretches useful. I'm thinking next week I'll post about how to set your desk up so it's ergo friendly. :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thanks for the great tips! I felt relaxed just reading that! ;)