3 stretches to relieve the pains of sitting at a desk

Does studying put a toll on your back?

Does studying take a toll on your back, neck and shoulders?

Studying can be hard, even when you're passionate about your course at Auckland Institute of Studies. What can be especially annoying, though, is when you start to feel the pains of sitting at a desk.

It's certainly better than studying on your bed, but it doesn't mean that sitting for long hours at a time won't affect your neck and back. Here are three stretches you can do to ease this tension.

For your legs – squats

When sitting at a desk, the muscles in your legs and buttocks can become stiff. It's a good idea to get up and walk around every 30 minutes or so, but to really stretch out the tendons and muscles, you should do squats. They're not as bad as you think!

All you have to do is hold your arms out and slowly bend down at the knees so your buttocks touch your ankles. If the hamstrings in your calf muscles are tight, you may have to stand on tiptoes to keep your balance.

Keep this position then slowly rise. It'll get easier the more often you practise this!

Are your shoulders sore from studying all day?Are your shoulders sore from studying all day?

For your neck and shoulders – back arm stretch

Stretching your arms out behind you can fix rounded shoulders.

Stand up with your back straight. Interlock your fingers behind you and stretch out your arms. This will force your shoulders back, opening up the muscles in your upper chest. You'll feel the tightness of your shoulder muscles as you straighten up your arms. Let your head roll back slowly to bring this stretch to your neck.

You can also bend in half at the waist, keeping your arms stretched out and fingers laced. Hang your head forward to stretch out your neck muscles.

This stretch is great for rounded shoulders from sitting at a desk all day.

For your lower back – torso rotation

Most times, bad posture stems from weak muscles in your lower back. This area can get quite sore if you don't exercise the muscles enough to sit straight.

Perch on the end of your chair with a straight back. Grasp the side arm rest or the side of the chair and slowly twist your upper body in one direction. Turn your neck last, breathing in deeply. Hold for a few seconds, rotate back to the front, then repeat with the other side.

You should stretch every few hours or so, and take regular breaks to refresh your mind. If you need any help with your studies, feel free to contact us today.