Image: Ergonomic Safety Program Logo

Healthy Computing Email Tip 452: Free Your Neck And Shoulders

Numerous people who work at the computer and mouse often experience some discomfort in their shoulders. The discomfort may have begun following intensive high pressure work periods -- periods without interruption. Reduce discomfort and take breaks when you learn to free your neck and shoulders.

How To Free Your Neck And Shoulders:

Sit at the edge of your chair with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly forward of your knees. Let your arms hang along the sides of the chair with palms facing in. Raise your eyes to the ceiling and look as far back as you can and mentally marking the spot on the ceiling -- be gentle with your neck. Return to a relaxed, upright position.

While keeping your shoulders relaxed and arms straight, raise your arms about a foot from your torso, keeping your palms facing your sides.

Maintain the distance between your torso and arms while you do this exercise. Begin by rotating your thumbs inward and back, so that your palms are facing outwards. At the same time exhale and curl your spine and shoulders forward and tilt your chin downward toward your chest. Then, as you inhale, rotate your palms in the opposite direction so that they face outward and allow your chest to open, with shoulders and head back, chin tilted up and spine slightly arched. Feel your shoulder blades coming together along your spine. Repeat five times. Then rest in a relaxed upright position for a few breaths with your hands either at your sides or on your lap.

Return to the position with your arms lifted about a foot from your torso with palms facing in. Repeat the same hand, arm and shoulders rotation except during exhalation, as you curl forward, tilt you chin up and look straight ahead. Then, as you inhale and slightly arch your back, tilt your head downward and look towards your stomach. Repeat five times, then rest while sitting up and feel your shoulders relaxing and dropping.

Once again, raise your eyes to the ceiling and look upward and back as far as you can while sitting. Observe how much further back you can look than at the beginning? In most cases, your range of neck and back motion has increased.

Repeat this and other large movement breaks every 30 minutes.

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.
SF State Home