Sitting in front of a laptop screen all day may be a good show of productivity, but it can take a toll on your body. That’s where desk exercises—or deskercises—come in. A sedentary lifestyle has been linked with various health issues, including poor posture which can lead to back and neck pain. Experts advise taking short breaks every hour over longer breaks every few hours. Whether you’re at your work desk or travelling a long and uncomfortable journey, these easy and small movements help stretch your spine, shoulders, neck, and arms, and can be performed from anywhere. We spoke to Dr. Tarun Lala, Zonal Head South Zone, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, to curate a desk-friendly workout routine to improve your posture. Here, he recommends and explains seven desk exercises you can perform anytime, anywhere.
7 expert-approved desk exercises to keep bad posture at bay
1. Shoulder and arms stretches:
Start by interlocking your fingers behind your head. Then, slowly open your elbows outward while forcing your shoulder blades together until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
2. Neck rotations:
Turn your head slowly towards your left shoulder till you feel a stretch and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat the same movement on the other side.
3. Neck side bends:
To perform this exercise, tilt your head to the side towards your left shoulder. You will feel a stretch in your neck. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and repeat it on the other side.
4. Chin tucks:
To begin with, sit upright or stand with good posture and tuck your chin in without looking down. Then, gently pull your head back as though nodding your head. Repeat this a few times.
5. Neck isometrics:
These are great for contracting the muscles in your neck. Keep your head in a neutral position at all times and apply pressure to it with your hand in the following positions for 5-10 seconds.
Flexion: Place a hand on your forehead and press into it with your neck muscles.
Extension: Place a hand on the back of your head and press backward.
Side bending: Place a hand on the side of your head and press sideways.
6. Shoulder shrugs:
Relax your arms at your side and then raise your shoulders towards your ears. Do this a few times and then start-rotating them up and down in a circular motion.
7. Hand and wrist stretches:
Start by interlocking your hands in front of you. Outstretch your hands together, until you feel a mild stretch. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.