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Ergonomics

Stretch breaks (also known as active breaks, micro breaks, mini breaks, etc.)

 

Stretch breakswill help reduce muscle tension caused when muscles remain static or fixed in one position for too long. Muscles when remaining static will fatigue more easily, circulation will decrease, you will become uncomfortable and the task will become more difficult. Stretching can help relieve discomfort due to repetitive movements, awkward postures, and excessive force.

The following exercises are examples you can try. If you are already experiencing CTD (RSI) or have experienced other medical problems, seek advice from your doctor before beginning these stretches.

Remember to start out easy and stretch regularly. Hold the stretch 5 to 10 seconds.

EXERCISE SHOULD NOT CAUSE PAIN!

Additional material on stretching can be found in: Stretching at Your Computer Desk written by Bob Anderson. This book may be purchased from the University of Virginia Bookstore for about $10.

NECK STRETCHES

 


Tuck your chin.


Tilt your head toward each shoulder.


Turn your head from side to side, look over your shoulder.


Keep your head aligned, DO NOT stick your neck out.

HAND STRETCHES

 


Make a fist, then span or spread your fingers as far as possible.

WRIST STRETCHES

 


Hold arms straight out in front of body bend your hands up and down.

FOREARM STRETCHES

 


Place palms together with fingers pointing toward ceiling.
Keeping palms together, slowly lower hands until you feel a stretch.

SHOULDER STRETCHES

 


Shrug your shoulders, then relax them.
Roll your shoulders forward and backward.
Gently shake your shoulders.


Pinch your shoulder blades together.


Reach over head and stretch, while stretching do side bends.

UPPER BACK & ARM STRETCHES (while sitting)

 


Sit up straight.
Place your hands behind your head.
Move your elbows backwards to pinch your shoulder blades together.


Stretch your arms behind your back.

LOWER BACK STRETCHES (while sitting)

 


Bend forward in your chair and if able touch hands to floor.


Grasp leg at shin, slowly pull leg up to your chest.
Repeat with other leg.
If you have knee pain, place hands behind thighs and slowly pull.

LOWER BACK STRETCHES (while standing)

 


Place hands on hips, bend backward.

Do these as well:

  • Get out of your chair and walk. Our bodies were created to move and change positions.
  • Alternate typing tasks with break jobs or alternate work tasks.
  • Reduce repetitions.
  • Take stretch breaks.

UPPER BACK & UPPER ARM STRETCHES

 


Interlace your fingers with palms facing away from you body,
straighten your arms and lift them toward the ceiling.

You may reproduce or adapt this information provided the original meaning is preserved and copies are not offered for sale. The University of Virginia shall be acknowledged in the copies.