5 Exercises To Beat Office Syndrome From UR.Life Expert

Sitting for long hours in front of a computer and remaining in the same position can lead to hunched shoulders and neck strain. Try these 5 simple exercises for quick relief.

By URLife Team
25 Jun 2023

Many professions entail extended periods of sitting in front of a computer. These jobs necessitate the ability to remain seated at a desk, which may lack adjustability, for approximately 8-9 hours. However, individuals in such occupations often fail to engage in sufficient physical activity. Consequently, office workers frequently experience pain and discomfort arising from musculoskeletal disorders, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and lower back, due to prolonged sitting in a static position while working. 


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A 2022 population based studies issued in the paper NeuroQuantology  suggest a  lifetime prevalence  of non-chronic neck pain among Indians is over 70 per cent. The same study also shows that between  50–85 per cent of  the  general  population experience neck pain at some point in their lives and every person who experiences neck pain is likely to experience  it  again  in the next 1–5  years. 

Regardless of whether you work remotely or in a traditional office setup, there is a potential for developing office syndrome—a term encompassing various physical health issues stemming from prolonged hours spent in an office environment. These problems may manifest as discomfort, pain, and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs, and if ignored, can potentially lead to more severe health complications. 

To reduce any undue pain resulting from the mental and physical strain of office work, the exercises provided below can be of great assistance.


Related story: The Many Benefits of Physiotherapy: The Pain Management Guide For Desk Job


1. Breathe control

We are all familiar with the remarkable health advantages of practising deep breathing in the comfort of our homes. You can employ these breathing control techniques to calm your nerves and alleviate stress the next time you feel anxious about an upcoming presentation or project. By focusing on our breathing rhythm, we can induce relaxation in our muscles and eliminate stress-inducing distractions from our minds.

  • Begin by sitting in a relaxed position and resting your hands on your stomach. 
  • Take a deep breath, allowing ample air to fill your lungs. 
  • As you exhale, gently push your hands upward, ensuring that your shoulders, collarbones, and upper ribs remain relaxed and unaffected. 
  • Repeat these exercises approximately five times, then resume normal breathing.


Related story: 5 Desk Exercise Equipment for Working Professionals.


2. Chest stretch 

Prolonged periods of sitting with rounded shoulders can lead to muscle contractions, impeding proper blood flow and resulting in pain. To alleviate this discomfort, it's important to take breaks from hunching over your computer and practise the following chest stretch exercise.

You can perform chest stretches while sitting or standing. 

  • Begin by extending your arms behind you and interlocking your fingers. Straighten your arms and lift them upward, experiencing the stretch in your chest and shoulders. 
  • Hold this position for 10-30 seconds, focusing on deep breathing and keeping your shoulders relaxed. 
  • Repeat these exercises as needed for relieving muscle pain and enhancing blood circulation.

Another option is to use a wall for a chest stretch. 

  • Stand facing a wall and position your right hand on the wall at shoulder height. 
  • Slowly rotate your torso to the left, feeling the stretch in your chest and shoulder. 
  • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. 
  • Repeat the process on the other side by placing your left hand on the wall and turning your body to the right.


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3. Neck stretch

You can perform this exercise whether you are seated or standing. Ensure that your movements are slow and fluid. Here are two simple exercises to help relieve tension in the neck:

  • Begin with your head aligned directly over your shoulders and maintain a straight back.
  • Slowly lower your chin towards your chest, feeling a gentle stretch in the back of your neck.
  • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds, allowing the muscles to relax. Gradually lift your head back up to the starting position.

Side Tilt:

  • Gently tilt your head towards your right shoulder, aiming to bring your ear closer to it. Avoid raising your shoulder during the movement.
  • Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds, feeling the gentle tension on the opposite side of your neck.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the same stretch on your left side. You can perform up to 10 for each side.


Related story: 15-Minute Mobility Routine To Relax Stiff Muscles.


4. Shoulder shrugs

The desk-bound nature of computer work often leads to tension and strain on the shoulders. Incorporating shoulder shrug exercises into your routine can help activate the muscles in this area, alleviate muscle pain, and enhance blood circulation.

  • Find a comfortable seated or standing position. Take a deep breath in, and as you do so, raise your shoulders upwards towards your ears. 
  • Hold this contraction for a brief moment, allowing the upper trapezius muscles to engage. 
  • As you exhale, roll your shoulders backward and allow them to return to their initial position. 
  • Repeat this movement 8-10 times, and then perform the exercise again, this time rolling your shoulders forward instead of backward. 


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5. Forearm stretch

To perform a forearm stretch, follow these steps:

  • Extend your right arm forward, parallel to the ground, with your palm facing up.
  • With your left hand, gently grasp your right fingers and apply a slight downward pressure to stretch the forearm muscles.
  • Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds, feeling the gentle pull in your forearm.
  • Release the stretch and switch sides, extending your left arm forward and repeating the same steps.
  • You can perform multiple sets of this stretch, gradually increasing the duration and intensity as needed.


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Krishna 28 Nov 2023

Nice ????

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