Take a few seconds right now to check-in with your body. How are you sitting? How is your posture? Is your head leaning forwards and down, looking at a screen? Are your shoulders rounding inwards? For many people (myself included) sitting at a desk for long periods of time goes hand in hand with slouching shoulders and a stiff neck – not fun!
Welcome to our new series of blog posts, we call Deskercise. Each week, or so, you will be introduced to a new simple exercise you can do at your desk to combat discomfort and help get you through those long workdays.
Our first set of exercises targets an area of the body that is notorious for holding a lot of tension – the neck and shoulders. So, without further ado, let's get started!
1. Shoulder Shrugs
This one simple exercise can make a world of difference. Give it a try:
Shrug your shoulders up towards your ears,
and hold them there for 5-10 seconds. Then drop them down and away from your ears while also tucking your chin into your chest and looking down. This will stretch the muscles along the back of the neck and into your shoulders.
After a muscle has been activated, there is a short period of time during which it is in a more relaxed state than it was prior to the activation. The shoulder shrug utilizes that post-contraction relaxation period to increase the stretch achieved.
Repeat this exercise 5 times, holding each shrug for 5-10 seconds.
After completing my Kinesiology degree at York University, massage therapy was a natural transition. As a massage therapist, one of my goals is to help people find balance within their bodies so they can feel their best throughout the day. I now balance my clinical practice at The Healthy Joint with teaching at Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy. One of the courses that I teach is called Therapeutic Exercise - it's all about self-care! I know how much nagging aches and pains can affect our daily lives. I am happy to be able to share some of the simple exercises that I’ve learned over the years with you.
Stay tuned for upcoming “Deskercise” posts to learn more great stretches and exercises to add to your repertoire.