- Reuben Hall
How To Undo Desk Work Posture With One Easy Exercise
The Corona virus epidemic has turned the world upside down. And it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting back to “normal” any time soon. Many of you are still working from home and may be for the foreseeable future.
I’ve been meaning to write something for people stuck at home. Something useful, that might help you cope, but I haven’t known what to write.
Working from home has been a big adjustment and many of you don’t have a proper work station. I’m no expert regarding desk ergonomics, so I can’t help much in that department. I do however know about posture and muscle imbalances and what that can lead to. So, I thought I’d write something about that.
Desk work is extremely hard on you body. Sitting at a desk while staring at a screen and stressing about deadlines takes a toll on you every day. Massage Therapy and Acupuncture can help you cope, but to really control the damage that desk work can cause, you need to control it every day.
I have a simple exercise that I think everyone who spends their day sitting and staring at a screen should try. (Especially those of you with laptops on coffee tables.)
As with any exercise, if it hurts, stop. Anything more than burning or achy muscle means that this exercise is not for you.
This exercise counteracts the imbalance created by hunching over your keyboard or slumping on your couch. It opens your chest, straightens your neck and back, realigns your hips and shoulders and strengthens weak muscles to improve your posture throughout the day.
It’s simple, but its not easy. All you need is a wall to stand against. Here’s what to do:
1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and with your back and bum against the wall.
2. Your arms should be straight and at your side, now raise them up the wall like you’re making a snow angel until they’re at or near shoulder height.
3. Without shrugging your shoulders up, squeeze you shoulder blades together.
4. While keeping that squeeze between you shoulder blades, turn your arms so that your palms are facing up and then gently press your thumbs into the wall.
5. Engage you core by sucking in you belly while trying to bring you belly button up and inwards. If you can, try and push you lower back (think above your bum) into the wall.
6. Now, gently press the back of your head against the wall while giving yourself a double chin.
Simple but not easy. Do it every day, whenever you can find the time. Start by holding it for 10 seconds and build from there.
Trying to keep all of the components of the exercise engaged at the same time can be very difficult. Remember, the back of your head, shoulders, lower back and thumbs should be pressed into the wall. Don’t shrug your shoulders up to your ears, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
This is an exercise that I’ve been tweaking and developing for years. I’ve suggested it to many clients and it’s surprisingly effective. If you only have a few minutes it’s a great way to hit all the major areas in your body that can be damaged by prolonged desk work, couch sitting, car driving, child carrying or bike riding.
Please, give it a try and see how you feel after a few days. If you have any comments, questions or if you need clarification about any of the steps, send me an email at