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Healthy Computing Tip 432: Keyboard Calisthenics

OK.  We confess.  We really do think that keyboarding is an athletic event.  So much so that we look for any opportunity to make it fun for you to exercise.  Now, without further ado, lets get going on some keyboard calisthenics.

How to do Keyboard Calisthenics*:

Sit back in your chair and let your hands rest on your lap.  Begin by taking 2 to 3 diaphragmatic breaths, letting all the air out with each exhalation while relaxing your hands and arms. Remember to keep a nice breathing rhythm when you do these calisthenics. 

  • Prayer press: In each position hold for a count of 3 as you gently press your palms together. Place your hands together as if you were praying.  Rotate your hands so that your fingers are pointing forward.  Rotate so that your fingers are pointing toward the floor. Return to a prayer position. Then, rotate your hands so that your fingers are pointing to your chest.  Repeat the sequence 2 to 3 times.

  • Finger stretch: This exercise requires enough room to spread your arms wide.  Stand up and step away from your chair.  In each arm position, open and close your hands quickly 5 to 10 times, making sure that you really stretch your fingers and palms when your hands are open. Reach straight forward.  Open your arms wide and stretch to your sides. Reach toward the ceiling.  Reach behind your back. Open your arms wide with your hands to your sides and finally, to the front again.

  • Wrist flop: Sit on the edge of your chair.  In each position allow your wrists to hang for a count of 3, turning your palms down then up for 3 to 5 times.  Stretch your arms straight forward and let your hands dangle, palms down, then, up. Stretch your arms out to your sides. Reach toward the ceiling, to your sides, and to the front.


Do these or other stretches every hour.  Be creative and invent your own stretches.  Share them with your co-workers. 

*Adapted from Office Yoga (2004) by Darrin Zeer.

The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips. Copyright 2009 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney. Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.
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