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Working at a desk for long hours can take a toll on our neck and shoulder muscles, leading to discomfort and pain. Fortunately, there are simple yet effective exercises that can help alleviate these issues.

Incorporating these desk exercises for neck and shoulder pain relief, including gentle stretches and mobility exercises into your daily routine can make a significant difference in how you feel throughout the day.

Shoulder rolls.

Start by sitting up straight in your chair. Roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion, making smooth and controlled rotations. After several rotations, switch directions and roll your shoulders backward. This exercise helps release tension in your shoulder muscles and improves mobility.

Neck tilts.

While sitting with good posture, slowly tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then repeat on the left side. This exercise stretches the muscles on the sides of your neck and provides relief from stiffness.

Chin tucks.

Maintaining an upright posture, gently retract your chin inwards, as if you’re trying to create a double chin. Hold this position for a few seconds and then relax. Chin tucks help strengthen the muscles at the front of your neck and improve alignment, reducing strain on your neck and shoulders.

Shoulder blade squeezes.

Sit up straight and gently squeeze your shoulder blades together, as if you’re trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise several times to strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades and improve posture.

Seated neck rotation.

Begin by sitting upright and slowly turn your head to the right, looking over your shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then repeat on the left side. This exercise helps improve neck mobility and reduces stiffness.

Wrist and finger stretch.

While focusing on your neck and shoulders, it’s important not to neglect your wrists and fingers, as they can also experience strain from prolonged desk work. To relieve tension in these areas, perform some simple stretches. Start by extending your arm forward with your palm facing up. Use your opposite hand to gently pull back on your fingers, stretching the wrist and fingers. Hold for 10-15 seconds and then switch hands. This exercise promotes flexibility and reduces stiffness in your wrists and fingers.

Seated spinal twist.

Sitting for extended periods can lead to a stiff and achy spine. The seated spinal twist is an effective exercise to alleviate this discomfort. Begin by sitting up straight and placing your right hand on the outside of your left thigh. Slowly rotate your torso to the left, using your right hand to gently deepen the twist. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then repeat on the other side. This exercise releases tension in the back and improves spinal mobility.

Shoulder shrug and release.

This exercise is excellent for releasing built-up tension in your neck and shoulders. Start by sitting up straight and relaxing your arms by your sides. Lift both shoulders up towards your ears as if you’re shrugging, hold for a few seconds, and then release them back down. Repeat this motion several times to promote relaxation and alleviate tightness in your neck and shoulder muscles.

Deep breathing.

Although not an exercise specifically targeting the neck and shoulders, deep breathing can aid in relaxation and stress reduction, which can indirectly alleviate pain and tension in those areas. Take a moment throughout your workday to engage in deep breathing exercises. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This practice promotes overall relaxation and helps release tension from your entire body.

Remember to listen to your body and take regular breaks to stretch and move. Additionally, practicing good ergonomics and maintaining proper posture will further contribute to alleviating discomfort. Prioritise your neck and shoulder health to enhance your productivity and overall quality of life in the workplace by continuously practicing these exercises for neck and shoulder pain

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