This is the seventh week of online classes, and it is no surprise that people are complaining of headaches, back aches and neck pain.
With finals coming up, that pain will most likely increase.
Luckily, there are stretches and other various ways to relieve or avoid pain from sitting at a desk for a long period of time.
Kiersten Talbot is a senior graduating this May with a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in exercise and rehab science. She says that the first place to start is to make sure you are sitting at your desk correctly.
“If you’re sitting at a desk, just make sure you have good posture, have a straight back with your shoulders and head neutral,” said Talbot. “Another key is making sure your chair is at a good height and your screen is right at eye level.”
However, muscle soreness cannot always be avoided. Below are some different stretches that Talbot suggests can help relieve tension.
For wrist pain due to continuous typing: The prayer stretch.
“Put your hands together with your fingers facing upwards and your elbows out. Then, just lower your hands down until you fell that good stretch in your forearms,” said Talbot.
For neck stiffness: Forward chin tucks.
“Tilt your head forward a little bit and then tuck your chin into your neck.
For shoulder tightness: Forward and backward arm rolls.
For back tension: Cat cow stretch and the cross arm stretch.
“I know sitting at a desk, a lot of times people’s backs get pretty sore. So, whenever they’re sitting in their chair, they can do what is called a ‘Cat Cow’,” said Talbot. “From the seated position, they round out their back and do a little pelvic tilt. So, they’re tilting their hips up and rounding their back. And then doing the opposite by extending out their back.”
To do the cross arm stretch, cross your arms across your chest and rotate slowly from side to side.
Talbot also recommends that people stay physically active while in isolation.
“I have found that there are a lot of places offering home workouts, and most of them are free now,” said Talbot. “Go on daily walks to get out of the house but still be socially isolated. It kind of gets you that positive attitude and a little bit of physical activity.”
For more helpful stretches, click on this link for a 10 minute video that features 7 different exercises by Dr. LA Thoma Gustin.
Edited by Diana Martinez-Ponce, Joelle Conway, Shelby Spradling