DePaul University Environmental Health and Safety > Ergonomics > Exercises > Office Stretches

Office Stretches

Neck Stretch

  • Tilt ear toward shoulder.
  • Reach up and touch top of head with palm to hold in tilted position.
  • Hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times (come out of stretch very slowly.) Reverse side

Pec Corner Stretch

  • Stand at a corner about a foot away from the wall with forearms on opposite sides of the corner. One foot should be forward.
  • Elbows should be at slightly below shoulder height.
  • Keep abdominals tight to avoid arching back.
  • Lean gently in towards corner by bending the front knee until a stretch is felt in front of the chest.
  • Hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Overhead Reach

  • Take a deep breath and reach up over head with both arms.
  • Hold 5-10 seconds.
  • Exhale and lower slowly.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

Shoulder Pinch

  • Place arms behind head being careful not to press hand into head.
  • Relax shoulders, and squeeze shoulder blades together while keeping shoulders back and down.
  • Hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Chair Rotation Stretch

  • Sit in chair, and if you can, wrap feet around chair legs.
  • Reach across body and grab back of chair.
  • Pull gently to increase stretch in mid back.
  • Hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Arms Behind Back Stretch

  • Hold hands behind back, and grasp hands together.
  • Pull shoulder blades back and down.
  • Hold 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
  • Wrist flexed/fingers straight.
  • Hold arm straight at waist height.
  • With fingers of other hand, gently press down above the knuckles-bending wrist down. **(Do not hold at the fingers to push down.)** Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Keep shoulder relaxed when stretching.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

Wrist extended/fingers point up

  • Hold arm straight at waist height with palm facing away from you and fingers pointing up.
  • Hold onto palm of hand and stretch wrist back. ** (Do not pull on fingers.) **
  • Make sure the fingers and thumb (on the hand that is pushing the other hand back) are kept together.
  • Hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Wrist extended/fingers point down

  • Do as above, but with fingers pointing towards the floor.
  • Hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Thoracic Spine Extension Stretch

  • Lie on your back with a pillow under your knees. Place a firmly rolled towel under your shoulder blades across your upper back.
  • Raise arms up as you inhale.
  • Lower arms as you exhale, and hold a couple of seconds.
  • Do this 5 times.

Prop Ups or Press Ups

  • Lie on stomach and either prop up on forearms, or if wrists are not compromised, press up through hands.
  • Let stomach sag, and allow back to arch without using back muscles.
  • If propped on elbows, hold 5-10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
  • If on hands, press up and down slowly 10 times.
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