Sitting and typing for long periods of time during work at your desk can create discomfort and tension in your upper body while also causing mental stress.
To make matters worse, research out of UCLA found people who were the fastest typers were the most likely to have injuries in their wrists, hands, arms, neck and shoulders.
Most of us take for granted the nerves, muscles and tendons we use for everyday activities. However they should be stretched and monitored, especially if you are spending the majority of your work day at or working with your computer.
So if you’re ready to take a break from your computer, here are seven yoga stretches to soothe the negative effects of sitting and typing for long hours.
1. The Rock and (Wrist) Roll
Interlace your fingers loosely in front of your chest so that your palms are touching and start to slow roll the hands in one direction for five breaths.
Count it out with me now slowly, one, two, there, four, five.
Now change directions and roll the wrists in the opposite direction for five breaths. It’s totally normal for this to feel a little weird at first keep going for five more breathes.
2. The Palms to Ceiling Shoulder Stretch
Interlace your fingers in front of the chest so the knuckles are facing you.
Then raise your arms and flip your palms up toward the ceiling.
Hold this with structured arms held up and over your head for five breathes.
3. Back of Wrist Stretch
Reach your right arm out in front of your chest with the palm facing away from you, as if you were asking someone to stop.
Open up all 10 of your fingers and with the left hand, reach up and over your right hand and grab the right fingers and squeeze toward you.
Hold this steadily and gently for five breathes.
Now switch, and stick your left arm out in front and grab the tops of your fingers with your right hand. Remember to continue focussing on the breathe, however many you decide to take.
4. Front of Wrist Stretch
Reach your left arm out in front of your chest with the fingers facing down this time with your palm facing you.
With the right hand grab the left fingers in palm from underneath and squeeze in.
Hold for five long breathes if you can.
Now switch and place your right hand out front with your fingers facing down. Grab the right hand with the left and hold for five.
5. Upper Back and Front Shoulder Stretch
Reach your right arm out across your body at chest level with the palm facing you.
Now fold your left arm at a 90° angle pressing your right arm towards your chest.
Hold for five breathes and then switch so your left arm is across your body and the right arm gently hugs the arm to open those hard to reach shoulder blades.
6. Chest & Front of Shoulder Stretch
Extend your arms out to the side while bending your elbows to a 90° angle with the palms facing forward.
Remember to take deep breathes while extending the upper arms out wider and leaning the arms backward.
7. “Cow Face” Shoulder Stretch
Reach your right arm up over your head head placing the palm upon your back.
Bend at the elbow and try to connect the right hand with your left hand reaching up behind your back with the right palm facing away from your body.
If the hands don’t touch that’s fine simply grab your shirt or come as close as you can to connecting them while holding for five breathes.
Now switch hands left hand up and over your head and right hand reaching down with the back of your right hand climbing up your back.
How were those? I recommend picking a few of your favorites to do throughout the day for a 5-10 minute break.
Remember, reaping the benefits of yoga doesn’t always require yoga pants, a mat and 60 minutes of your day.
Starting today, add a few of these poses to your daily routine for five minutes and see how you feel at the end of the week.