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Exercises to Keep Desk Job Fatigue at Bay

22 January 2024

Working at a desk all day can be tough on your body. You might not realize it, but sitting in a chair for hours can lead to fatigue and pain.

Taking breaks throughout the day is essential to move your body and get your blood flowing. And, when you do have a chance to sit down, there are certain exercises you can do to help relieve the tension that comes with sitting for long periods.

Understanding Desk Job Fatigue

Desk job fatigue is a type of cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) that can develop from working at a desk or computer for long periods of time. CTDs are a group of health conditions that occur when the body is repetitively stressed in a way that doesn't allow adequate recovery time.

Over time, this can lead to symptoms like pain, swelling, and inflammation in the affected area. Desk job fatigue is commonly seen in the neck, shoulders, and lower back, but it can also affect the wrists, hands, and elbows.

There are a few different factors that can contribute to the development of desk job fatigue. First, if you sit in the same position for long periods, it can put stress on your muscles and joints.

This is because you're not giving your body a chance to move and change positions, which can lead to stiffness and pain. Additionally, if you have poor posture while sitting at your desk, it can further contribute to muscle strain.

Lastly, mental stress can also play a role in developing desk job fatigue. If you're constantly feeling stressed or anxious while working, it can lead to muscle tension and pain.

Preventing Desk Job Fatigue

You can do a few different things to prevent desk job fatigue from developing. First, taking breaks throughout the day is essential to move your body and get your blood flowing.

This can be as simple as taking a quick walk around the office or doing some simple stretching exercises at your desk. Additionally, it's essential to maintain good posture while you're sitting at your desk.

Ensure that your chair is at the proper height and that you're not slouching forward while working. Lastly, try to manage your stress levels by taking regular breaks and making time for relaxation outside of work.

Exercises to Relieve Desk Job Fatigue

You can do a few different exercises to help relieve the symptoms of desk job fatigue. Let us look at some simple exercises you can do at your desk.

Neck Rolls

You will simply need to sit tall in your chair with the shoulders relaxed. Then gently roll your head from one side to the other, letting your chin drop towards your chest. Then, move your head back and look up at the ceiling. Do this 10-15 times.

This simple exercise can do wonders for your neck and shoulders. By gently rolling your head from side to side, you'll help relieve any tension that's built up in those areas. This is a great way to relax your muscles and reduce any pain or stiffness you may be feeling.

If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer, neck rolls can also help prevent the development of bad posture. Keeping your muscles loose and flexible makes you less likely to experience pain or stiffness later. So next time you're feeling tense or stressed, try doing some neck rolls to help alleviate the tension.

Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder shrugs are a great way to relieve tension in your upper back and shoulders. If you sit at a desk all day, or if you are constantly carrying around heavy bags, your shoulders can start to feel tight and uncomfortable. Doing some simple shoulder shrugs throughout the day can help you release that tension and feel more comfortable.

Start by sitting up tall in your chair with your shoulders down. Then, slowly raise your shoulders towards your ears. Hold for a few seconds, then release them back down. Repeat this 10-15 times. You can do this several times throughout the day whenever you start to feel the tension in your shoulders.

In addition to helping relieve tension, shoulder shrugs help improve your posture. Sitting up tall and keeping your shoulders down makes you less likely to round your shoulders forward. This can help prevent back pain and help you look more confident.

Chest Opener

Sit up tall in your chair and place your hands behind your head. Gently pull your elbows back until you feel a stretch in your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release. Doing this exercise a few times throughout the day can help to open up your chest and relieve pain in your upper back and shoulders.

If you have any pain in your neck, be sure to keep your chin tucked down towards your chest during the stretch. You can also place a towel or pillow behind your head for support. If this stretch is too easy, try adding a resistance band around your elbows to make it more challenging.

Chest openers are a great way to release tension in the upper body and improve your posture. By doing this stretch regularly, you'll notice a difference in how you feel mentally and physically.

Wrist Stretches

Place your palms on your desk and gently press down, letting your fingertips hang off your fingers. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release. You can also try placing your palms face down on your desk and gently pressing down with your fingers to stretch out the tops of your wrists.

If you're looking for a more intense stretch, try this: Place your right hand on your left shoulder, and then use your left hand to grab your right elbow. Gently pull your right elbow across your body until you feel a stretch in the muscles on the top of your right forearm. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

The prayer stretch is one final stretch that targets both the muscles in your wrists and forearms. Clasp your hands together in front of you and press your palms together as firmly as you can. You should feel a stretch all along the tops of your forearms. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release. Try doing 2-3 sets of each of these stretches, and you should start to feel relief from your wrist pain in no time!

Arm Circles

Extend your arms to shoulder-level sides and make small circles with your hands. Do this for 30 seconds, then reverse the direction and rotate in the other direction.

The benefits of Arm Circles are numerous. This simple movement helps improve shoulder mobility and flexibility while strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint. In addition, Arm Circles can help to improve circulation and increase the range of motion in the arms and shoulders. Regular exercise practice can help prevent injuries and keep the shoulders healthy and strong.

Ankle Pumps

While seated, lift your heels to stand on your toes, then lower them back down. Do this 10-15 times.

Ankle pumps are a great way to improve blood flow and prevent blood clots from forming. When you lift your heels, the muscles in your calves contract and push blood up your leg towards your heart, and when you lower your heels back down, the valves in your veins open up and allow blood to flow back down to your feet. This action helps to keep blood flowing smoothly throughout your body and prevents it from pooling in your lower legs.

Ankle pumps are also helpful in relieving pain and swelling associated with conditions like arthritis, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and shin splints. The movement helps to stretch and massage the affected area, which can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

Knee Lifts

Lift one knee towards your chest and hold it for a few seconds before lowering it back down. Repeat with the other leg. Do this 10-15 times on each side.

Knee lifts are a great way to improve the range of motion in your hips and knees. The movement helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the joints, which can help to prevent injuries. Knee lifts are also helpful in relieving pain and stiffness associated with conditions like arthritis and bursitis.

In addition to the physical benefits, knee lifts can help improve mental focus and concentration. Lifting and lowering your knees requires you to use your core muscles and maintain balance, which helps to improve coordination and focus. The movement also gets your blood flowing and increases oxygen to the brain, which can help to improve cognitive function.

Sitting vs. Standing Desks

Regarding office ergonomics, one hotly debated topic is whether sitting or standing desks are better for your health. Both options have pros and cons, so it's essential to weigh all of the factors before making a decision.

Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more research has emerged highlighting the health risks associated with prolonged sitting. Sitting for long periods has been linked to some health disorders. Standing desks can help to offset some of these risks by encouraging people to move around more throughout the day.

There are also several ergonomic benefits to using a standing desk. When you stand, your spine is in a more neutral position, and your muscles are more engaged, which can help to improve your posture. Standing also forces you to use your core muscles more, which can help to strengthen them over time.

On the other hand, sitting desks offer many benefits that standing desks don't. They're more comfortable to use for long periods and offer a greater range of motion for your arms and legs. Sitting also allows you to take advantage of gravity, which can help to reduce the amount of stress on your spine.

Now imagine if you could get the benefits of both desks from a single desk. Sounds too good to be true? It isn't! The Willow Pro Solid Wood Standing Desk is an ideal desk that can switch from a comfortable sitting height to a standing height at the press of a single button. So whether you like to work standing, sitting, or alternating between the two positions, the Willow Pro Solid Wood Standing Desk is a great product made just for you!