Nearly 15 years of sitting hunched over a laptop gave me a bunch of long term companions I wanted rid of. Aches in the lumbar region, spasms in the shoulders and upper arms, tendonitis in my wrists. Slowly, over the period of about a year, I’ve figured out a programme of stretches that I do that seem to alleviate most of the pain. Have I missed any good ones?
Neck and shoulder tension is pretty chronic in desk workers— this video goes over some stretches you can do (sitting down, about 3 minutes). The stretches I found most useful start at the 2 minute mark. There are others here, but I haven’t tried them. Time taken: two minutes. Do: twice a day, while waiting for your tea or coffee to brew.
You might not feel the tension in your triceps, but trust me, it’s there, and it’s probably causing referred pain further down towards your hands. This is an easy stretch you can do every hour or two during the day to make sure you stay loose. Bonus points if you can look as excited as the guy in the video :) Time taken: one minute. Do: every time you open Twitter/FB
Lower back issues are sometimes the result of hip tightness. These stretches require a mat, but are totes awesome. You can add the pigeon if you’re feeling brave, too. Time taken: six minutes. Do: when you get up, and before you go to bed.
For wrist and forearm pain relief, try these four stretches. Time taken: four minutes. Do: every time you get up from your desk.
Do I need a disclaimer? Enjoy it, but don’t overdo it. I found the most important thing is to keep doing these regularly. A couple of months of this and you'll feel like a different person. Possibly one that can hold their head at a natural angle for the first time in a while.