Not only is sitting in an office chair for prolonged periods of time boring, it is also terrible for your back. Sitting for eight straight hours can cause stiffness and soreness that resonates from your lower back all the way up through your neck and shoulders. Not only can back pain ruin your work day, it can cause long-term complications if left to worsen day by day. Fortunately, there are a number of exercises you can easily do in the office to strengthen your back, loosen your muscles and minimize your pain. All of these exercises can easily be completed while sitting in your office chair, so you don’t even have to get up to do them.
Back Twists – Sit in your office chair, facing forward, and place your hand firmly on the chair arm rests. Keep your back straight, and use your arms to twist your torso to the right. Hold in place for five to ten seconds, then release. Start again, keeping your back straight, but this time use your arms to twist your torso to the left. Hold in place for five to ten seconds and release. Repeat for five repetitions on each side.
Lumbar Stretch – Your lower back is often the first place to feel the pain of sitting for hours at a time. Focusing on this area, the lumbar region, in your exercises will greatly reduce the tension and aches you experience throughout the workday. Sit in the chair and support yourself with your hands on the chair arm rests or the bottom of the chair. Arch your lower back so your upper back is straight and your midsection sticks out slightly. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this simple exercise in sets of five throughout your workday.
Upper Back Stretch – Sit in your office chair and hold your hands behind you with your palms facing away from you. Lower your head so your chin touches your chest. Roll your upper back gently. You should feel the muscles in your neck, shoulders and upper back stretch. Repeat this exercise in sets of five throughout your workday.
Neck Circles – People who work in office settings usually experience a great deal of neck pain from craning their heads forward to read documents or computer screens. This exercise will reduce strain in your neck and help you develop better posture. Sit in your chair with your hands to your sides and relax. Drop your neck down so your chin touches your chest and roll your neck in circles while taking deep breaths. Repeat this exercise in sets of ten throughout your workday.
Shoulder Shrugs – Loosen up sore shoulders with this easy exercise. Sit in your office chair and drop your arms down to your sides. Sit up straight and stretch your shoulder back and up toward your ears. Squeeze the muscles as hard as you can and hold for several seconds, then release. Repeat for ten reps.