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Home>Discover VersaTables> Ergonomics > Solutions > The Two Minute Stretch Program

The Two Minute Stretch Program

Applying The Ergonomic Equation to your home or workplace computing is a crucial part of maintaining comfortable, safe and efficient workflow. And making sure you utilize proper rest and restorative periods is central to ergonomics principles.

Of course, simply knowing that you should periodically take a break to stretch and move your muscles is a different matter than knowing how to specifically stretch and move your muscles. Without working to learn some basic and effective stretches to use in your ergonomic work routine, you will likely just find yourself wandering aimlessly around your workspace.

Instead, the following two minute stretch program offers you specific and direct instructions in ways to rest your muscles and avoid fatigue and repetitive stress injuries. The best part? These stretches are designed to fit into any spare minutes as you ride the elevator, walk to your parking lot, talk on the phone etc.

Stretch #1 – Eye Exercise

One of the most common conditions resultant in working at a computer for a continuous time is eye strain. Luckily, eye strain can easily be relieved. One way to relax your eye muscles  if to focus on items at different distances. To completely stretch your eye lens use the following pattern:

  • Focus near, then far, near, then far
  • Repeat a couple of times
  • Take a couple of long blinks in between each stretch set

Stretch #2 – Side to Side Neck Stretch

Release the tension in your neck, head and shoulders with this movement designed to loosen your neck and shoulder muscles. Doing this with your eyes closed also further helps to relax your eye muscles momentarily.

  • Lay your head to the side, pivoting at the base of the neck
  • Hold it for a few seconds, then lay it to the other side
  • Repeat a couple of times

Stretch #3 – Front to Back Neck Stretch

Moving on from stretch #2 you can continue to stretch your neck with a front to back stretch to further release the tension that gathers in your head, neck, back hips and shoulders while computing.

  •  Pivot your head back and hold for a few seconds
  • Move your head forward, placing your chin on your chest
  • Repeat a couple of times

Stretch #4 – Standing Toe Touch

To stretch your back you can simply:

  • Bend forward at the waist and let your arms hang toward the floor
  • Roll your back and your shoulders
  • Do not lock your knees

If you legs stretch too much while doing these movements, bend at the knees. You should not feel this stretch in your legs, but in your back. If you need more of a stretch you can touch your toes or place the palms of your hands on the floor.

Stretch #5 – Reverse Back Stretch

You can continue to stretch your back with this reverse back stretch.  This movement opens your chest cavity and hips, elongating the spine along its natural “S” curve.

  • Place your palms on the back of your pelvis and lean back from the waist
  • Drop your head back
  • Hold for a few seconds

Stretch #6 – Trunk Twist

To stretch the muscles in your core and loosen your spine you can stand and do the following:

  • Isolate your trunk and twist at the hips
  • Take one arm and reach across your chest, twist in that direction
  • Drop your other hand and use it to reach behind your back
  • Twist to the other side while switching arm positions
  • Repeat a few times

Stretch #7 – Upper Torso and Arm Stretch

This easy motion is an essential upper body stretch for relieving repetitive stress impact on your muscles. Stretch your upper torso, back, shoulders and arms by really working your muscles to loosen the area between your shoulder blades.

  • Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle with your hands, elbows and shoulders at the same height
  • Make fists with your hands
  • Pull your arms back, squeezing your should blades together and tightening your fists
  • Push your hands forward until your arms are straight out in front of you
  • Roll your shoulders forward and stretch out your upper back
  • Open your hands with your wrists flexing up and spreading your fingers as you push forward
  • Repeat a couple of times

 Stretch #8 – Shoulder Stretch

Though it may seem like you have already stretched your shoulders several times in this two minute program, much of the body’s stress is localized in this area, and you must be sure you stretch them enough. These slightly different movements help you to continue stretching these crucial muscles in a variety of ways. This particular stretch works the back side of the shoulder from the shoulder blade around to the upper arm.

  • Reach your arm across your chest with your upper arm close to your collar bone
  • Take your other hand and grab the crossed arm’s elbow
  • Pull your arm closer to your body and stretch your shoulder
  • Now to the other shoulder
  • Repeat a couple of times

Stretch #9 – Arm and Wrist Stretch

This single, easy motion will loosen most of the muscles along the length of your arm and provide further stretch for your wrist and shoulder.

  • Place the palms of your hands flat together in front of your chest
  • Flex the wrists at a 90-degree angle
  • Keeping the palms together, move them up until your elbows touch
  • Return your hands to their original position
  • Repeat a couple of times

Stretch #10 – Ankle Stretch

When sitting at a desk for an extended period of time, your blood begins to flow through your lower body more slowly. This can put you at risk for poor circulation, and even a blood clot. It is important to take break periods while computing to get the blood flowing in your lower body.

  • Lift your knee up high as you can, and flex your ankle back as far as you can
  • Extend your leg forward pivoting at the knee, flex the ankle forward as far as possible
  • Repeat a couple of times
  • Adding some side-to-side motion while extending your leg forward will also help to loosen your hip

While you are at work it is important you take care of your daily tasks and your workload. But it is also important that you take care of your body. Using quality office furniture and being mindful of the way you work will not only help you avoid muscle fatigue and injury, it will also help you experience greater productivity and satisfaction in your tasks as well.

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