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5 Best Stretching Exercises for Computer Users

Date: Nov 04, 2022

5 Best Stretching Exercises for Computer Users

We've all been there – you've been sitting at your computer for hours, and your neck and back are killing you. You want to lie down but still have pages of data to sort and type or a business proposal to finish. What could help you release the muscle tension and lessen the pain even without having to leave your workstation? Do some stretching exercises

This blog post will share the 5 best stretching exercises for computer users. These exercises are easy to do and will help you get the relief you need. So without further ado, let's get started!

5 Best Stretching Exercises for Computer Users

◾ Neck stretch

◾ Wrist and forearm stretch

◾ Shoulder shrug

◾ Upper back stretch

◾ Chest stretch

Neck stretch

Our necks are one of the most sensitive areas in our upper body because there are a lot of nerves in them. It is best to proceed with caution when stretching your neck, as they are connected to your brain and spine. So when stretching, make sure not to overstretch or crack your necks as chiropractors do. 

One easy way to stretch your neck is by doing neck rotation. You do not need special equipment or be in a vast space to do this. You can sit down with your feet on the ground, sit upright, rest your hands on your knees, and look straight ahead. Slowly turn your head to the right and hold it for three seconds. And then, go back to your starting position and breathe in and out. Now, turn your head to the left and hold it for three seconds. Do this 10 times on each side, twice daily. 

A woman stretching her neck

A woman stretching her neck

Another variation of this neck stretch is upon turning your head to either the right or left side, tuck your chin slowly, look down, hold it for three seconds, then slowly go back to the neutral position. You can also try bending your neck sideways, allowing your ears to touch your shoulders. Remember not to overstretch. Just feel that stretch and hold it for three to five seconds. You can also tilt your head up and then slowly tilt your head down. 

Wrist and forearm stretch

There is a significant tension build-up on your wrists and forearms when you continuously type on your keyboard and use your mouse for long hours, especially if you are not maintaining the proper typing posture. 

To ease the tension, you can start by putting your left arm forward, with your palm facing downwards, and slowly bend your left hand with the help of your right hand. Do the same for your right arm and wrist and hold it for 15 seconds. 

And then, for the next round of stretching, you must put your left arm forward again, but this time with your hand facing upward. Pull your left hand towards you with your right hand. You will feel tension on your wrist and elbows. Do this for 15 seconds on each side. 

A demonstration of wrist stretching

A demonstration of wrist stretching

For the final exercise, put your arms forward and close your hand. Gently rotate each fist either clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. These stretches should release the tension built in your wrist and forearms. 

For the video demonstration, check out Mayo Clinic's website. 

Shoulder shrug

It manifests on your shoulders if you are stressed or anxious at work. Perhaps that is the reason behind the saying, "don't carry the weight of the world on your shoulder." 

To help you relax your tensed shoulders, you can start by doing the shoulder raises. You can do this either when you are sitting down or standing up. But if you have been sitting for long hours, we suggest you stand up to these stretches for better blood circulation. With your arms on your side and without lifting them, lift your shoulders slowly. The motion is similar to when you are shrugging, only do it slowly, and you have to hold it for three seconds before putting your shoulders down. Healthline recommended that you do it five times. 

Another set of recommended stretches by Healthline is the shoulder roll. Like the first shoulder exercise, you must keep your arms sideways and start rolling your shoulders forward, and you can also move your shoulders backward. They recommend doing it 10 times for each direction. 

Another shoulder exercise that will surely give you the stretch you need is the cross-arm stretch. If you have watched a basketball game, chances are you have seen the athletes do this. 

A woman doing a cross-arm stretching exercise

A woman doing a cross-arm stretching exercise

To do this shoulder stretch, cross your left arm towards your right shoulder; your left hand should touch your right shoulder. Using your right hand, support your left arm with your right arm's elbow crease, or if this is too much of a stretch for you, you can hold your left elbow or arm instead. Do this for 30 seconds, and then proceed to stretch the right side, this time.

For more shoulder stretches, visit the Healthline website. 

Upper back stretch

If your shoulders are tight, there is a big chance that your upper back is stiff and painful. You often hear people who work long hours in the office complain about knots on their upper backs. Many develop Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) because of bad posture. 

Cleveland Clinic defines MPS as a "pain condition that affects your muscles and fascia. "Myo" means muscle, and "fascial" means fascia. Your fascia is the thin, white connective tissue wrapped around every muscle." The trigger points if you have MPS are the knots you feel when touching your muscles. They are often tender to touch and affect a person's blood flow. The knots are those muscle fibers stuck in a contracted state, Cleveland Clinic explains. These contracted muscle fibers hinder blood flow causing the muscles to lack the oxygen it needs. 

While physical therapy is an excellent way to address MPS, it is also good to prevent this by doing regular upper back stretches. The first stretch we could do is the Lat side stretch; the lat is the biggest muscle on our back we use daily to perform tasks such as lifting. Start this stretch by standing and lifting both of your arms. Then assist your left hand as you bend your body towards the right, and vice versa. Hold each pose on each side for 20 to 30 seconds; repeat this twice. 

A group of people doing lat exercise for the upper back

A group of people doing lat exercise for the upper back

A child's pose is a well-known Yoga exercise position. To do this must kneel or sit on your knees on the floor. With your heels on your buttocks, lean forward and allow your forehead to touch the floor. Keep your arms on your sides, with your palm facing upwards. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat it three times. Don't forget to breathe in and breathe out. 

A woman demonstrating the child's pose

A woman demonstrating the child's pose

Chest stretch

You can start stretching your pectoralis muscle if you feel tightness in your chest. This muscle is attached to our breastbone, shoulder, and upper arms. 

For this exercise, you will need a tennis ball. Put the tennis ball between your pectoralis muscles and a wall. Put your weight against the ball for 20 to 30 seconds. You will initially feel discomfort, but eventually, you will feel a release of tension on your pectoralis. 

Another simple way to stretch your chest is by putting your hands behind your back. Remember it is best to do this standing up, with your feet apart. Once your hands are at your back, put your hands together and straighten your arms. Pull your shoulder blades down while your chest lifts. You can hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat it three times. 

For more chest stretches, visit Insync Physcio.


We hope you enjoyed trying the neck stretches, wrist and forearm stretches, shoulder shrugs, upper back stretches, and chest stretches we listed. These stretching exercises will help you regain better flexibility and ease the tension and pain you are experiencing from using computers. 

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Remember, taking breaks and stretching are essential to avoid pain and injury. Your body will thank you for this!