The body was not designed to stay in one position all day. Sitting or standing at a desk, computer or work station can cause muscular tension. Ergonomic stretching at work is important to ease the stiffness of your major muscle groups. Taking short stretch breaks, at least once per hour, can ease stiffness and muscle strain in the hands, wrists, arms, neck, back, and legs. If you notice pain or tension in any area of the body, just give it a quick stretch to reduce and stress on your muscles. In this blog post we will be focusing on 5 easy-to-do ergonomic stretching routines for the hands and forearms.
Hands and Forearms
- Wrist Bend
Open the palm of your hand and face it downward. Gently bend the wrist from side to side. Hold for 3 – 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Forearm Rotate
Stretch your arm out, palms facing up. Slowly rotate your palm facing down. Hold 3 – 5 seconds. Rotate palms back up. Hold 3 – 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Wrist Stretch with Fingertips
Hold one arm out straight. Hold the hand up, like motioning someone to stop. Grasp and hold the fingers with the other hand and pull towards you. Hold 3 – 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times. Then bend your wrist down and with the other hand, pull the back of the hand toward you. Hold and relax as before.
- Palms Together
While sitting at your desk, place your arms on the table with your palms together. Move your elbows outward as you slide your wrists down, attempting to touch the table. Stop when you feel a good stretch. You do not have to rest your hands on the table, just keep your palms pressed together and get a good stretch for 5 – 7 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Finger Roll
Start by opening your hand. Then, make a fist but keep the thumb out. Slide your fingertips up your palm so the tips of your fingers are now near the base of your fingers. Keep the fingers curled tightly for a good 5 second stretch.
In addition to ergonomic stretching, you can also consider using an ergonomic pen. This will ease muscular tension when writing for long periods of time at work because a properly designed ergonomic pen will almost grip you, so you don’t have to expend muscular energy to tightly grip it. A more relaxed hand grip will ease tension in the fingers, hands and arm.