Exercises You Can Do at Work

By Margit Nezold
Student Physiotherapist and AQ Volunteer


NECK & SHOULDER EXERCISES

Isometric Neck Exercise

  • Sit straight, tuck your chin slightly in, put both hands on your forehead and press your head into your hands in a nodding motion, without actually moving, only activate your muscles (this is called "isometric contraction"). You should feel your neck muscles tense, hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 3-5 times.
  • Sit straight and tuck your chin in slightly. This time put both hands over the back of your head, press your head into your hands and hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 3-5 times.
  • Using the same principals, repeat this exercise on each side of your head. Repeat 3-5 times.

Quick Shoulder Workout

  • Stand up straight, arms by your sides, holding small water bottles in both hands. With your palms facing down, lift your arms slowly up until they are level with your shoulders. Hold this position briefly then return your arms to your side. Repeat 5-10 times.
  • Starting in the same position, this time lift your arms straight up in front of you. Once your arm is level with your shoulder, briefly hold then slowly lower your arm and repeat with the other. Repeat 5-10 times.

WRIST EXERCISES

  • Sit with your forearm supported by a table and let your hand hang over the edge with the palm down. Hold a small water bottle in your hand. Extend and flex your wrist (move your hand up and down without lifting your forearm). Repeat with your palm facing up.

LOWER LIMB EXERCISES

Heel Raises

  • Stand with feet slightly apart and toes pointing forward, raise onto toes, then slowly return to starting position. Repeat 5-10 times.

Hip Abduction

  • Stand with feet slightly apart and toes pointing forward. Hold on to a wall or table for balance. Move your right leg out towards the side as far as you comfortably can and return to the starting position. Keep your leg straight. Repeat with the left leg. Repeat this on each leg 5-10 times. 

OTHER EXERCISES 

  • Sit or stand with your right hand behind your back, keep your shoulder down and bend your neck to the left (left ear towards left shoulder). Hold for 30 seconds, repeat on the other side. 2-3 repetitions each side.
  • Sit straight, hold with your right hand onto the right side of the chair, bend your neck to the left (left ear towards left shoulder), then rotate your head to the left (look towards the left shoulder) until you feel a stretch on the side of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat on the other side. 2-3 repetitions each side.
  • Sit or stand straight, tuck your chin in (make a double-chin), then nod (bring chin towards chest) until you feel a stretch at the back of the neck. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • Bend your elbow and raise your right arm out towards your side until it is level with the shoulder. Hold your elbow against a doorframe and lean forward until you feel a stretch between shoulder and chest. Repeat with your arm slightly higher and slightly lower than your shoulder (to stretch all 3 parts of the pectoralis major muscle). Hold for 30 seconds, repeat on the other side. 2-3 repetitions each side.

(Do not force your head down, only stretch as far as it is comfortable)


Information provided on this website is of an educational nature and should not be relied on as medical advice. You should consult with your health care professional about the appropriateness of this information for your particular case.


References

Lynch, B. M. (2010). Sedentary behavior and cancer: a systematic review of the literature and proposed biological mechanisms. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 19(11), 2691-2709.

Song, J., Lindquist, L., Chang, R., Semanik,P., Ehrlich-Jones, L., Lee, J., Sohn, M., & Dunlop, D. (2015). Sedentary behaviour as a risk factor for physical frailty independent of moderate activity: results from the osteoarthritis initiative. American Journal of Public Health, 105 (7), 1439 – 1445. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2014.07.00

Wilmot, E. G., Edwardson, C. L., Achana, F. A., Davies, M. J., Gorely, T., Gray, L. J., ... & Biddle, S. J. (2012). Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia, 55, 2895-2905.

Yu, C. A., Rouse, P. C., Van Zanten, J. J. V., Ntoumanis, N., Kitas, G. D., Duda, J. L., & Metsios, G. S. (2015). Subjective and objective levels of physical activity and their association with cardiorespiratory fitness in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 17(1), 59.

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