3 Exercises Anyone That Works at a Desk Should Do Every Day

How many of you have a desk- based job? How many spend time on a computer? How many of you feel tired and have neck, wrist, hand pain at the end of your days or weeks?

One of the biggest challenges I hear from patients is finding time to do it. In an ideal world, we would all have time allotted every single day to take care of our self and our own bodies… the reality is, that even when we intend to take time for our selves, we often don’t.

Here are a couple quick things you can do to (literally) set yourself free from your work day or work week. Remember that anything is better than nothing… squeeze a stretch in here, a mobilization in there… and set your body free from the tightness patterns and restrictions of the day. Focus on alignment and posture with each exercise – you should not have any pain. Don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions or need clarification at Nicole@HaasPT.com, or track me down at Sanitas and I’m happy to be of help!

Wheel Openers for chest & upper back

Bring hands together as you reach upward overhead. Draw shoulder blades down and back as you lower arms into stick-up position, pause, then release the tension as you lower arms down to your side. Add a deep inhale in as you reach arms overhead, and exhale slowly as you lower arms down. Repeat 3 times.


Prayer Stretch for wrist and hand muscles

Move slowly into and out of stretch and think of gliding vs forcing your wrists and fingers. Start with your palms pressed together and fingers pointed upward with elbows at your side. Lower your hands as you pull elbows slightly away from your side until you feel a gentle stretch in your wrist and forearm. It’s ok if the base of your hands move slightly apart. Slowly spread your fingers apart to add stretch to your hands. Release the tension before moving back to the starting position. Next, turn your fingers downward from the prayer position. Draw your hands up toward your stomach or chest until you feel a gentle stretch in your wrist and forearm. Slowly spread your fingers apart to add stretch to your hands. Release the tension before moving out of the position Repeat in both directions, focus on gliding through the pattern vs forcing the pressure into the movement. Repeat each pattern 3 times.


Self massage for hand muscles (the “intrinsics”)

Use small ball (or something similar) to massage palms of hands for 30-60 seconds gently, either together at once or one at a time using a table or desk to roll ball back and forth. Start with gentle pressure and move deeper as tolerable.


Dr. Nicole Haas, PT, DPT, OCS is a strong advocate of community outreach and education, and lends her voice and expertise locally and nationally across the wellness and medical community. She is a board certified orthopedic clinical specialist with a doctorate in physical therapy who has been practicing for 20 years, and is a certified yoga teacher as well. She is dedicated to helping the community understand the tipping point between health and injury, and to promoting understanding of the biomechanics of movement patterns that allow the body to participate in a balanced life. She uses a blend of evidence-based medicine, manual therapy, functional training and exercise to help each individual she works with maintain a healthy and pain-free lifestyle.

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