Image:Heather's desk 2856.jpg

I’ve never been a big fan of Wikiness.  The beauty of “everyone can edit” has it’s pitfalls, as you will see.

At work we all spend way too much time hunched over a computer monitor.  This results in legions of slightly hunched and cranky employees.  At my office, one dedicated employee has offered to distribute stretching exercises once a week via email.  Good idea?  Certainly! 

Here is his first offering, compliments of a quick Google search and brought to you by the Wonders of WikiHow!  Be sure to read all the way through.  There are many good points, and a couple of odd ones, compliments of somebody’s idea of a good edit.  And yes, this was distributed to 65 slightly hunched employees first thing this morning.  Happy Friday all!

How to Exercise While Sitting at Your Computer


Sitting at the computer all day is not exactly good for the body. If you have to be at a desk all day long, doing some simple things can improve your posture and health.


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[edit] Steps

  1. Sit properly in a good chair designed for desk work. Your back should be straight, your shoulders back, and the top of your monitor should be level with your eyes. If you have to look down or up, you need to adjust the height of your screen. Also, make sure that your wrists do not lay on the keyboard or on the mousepad (unless you have a pad with a wrist rest). This will help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Keep your legs bent at the knees so that the knees are only slightly higher than your hips. Feet should be flat on the floor or on a step stool of some sort.  
  2. Stand up every half hour to stretch or walk around a bit.
  3. Stretch your calves, and give your eyes a break from focusing on your computer screen. This will also help prevent blood clots from developing in your legs. Blood clots are very common among middle-aged computer users.
  4. Learn to stretch. To stretch your neck, flex your head forward/backward, side to side and look right and left. Never roll your head around your neck. This could cause damage to the joints of the neck.
  5. Roll your wrists regularly (this will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing).
  6. Roll your ankles regularly, this helps improve blood circulation (and that tingling feeling you can get when blood circulation is cut off, also known as “Pins and Needles”).
  7. Notice if you tend to hunch in front of the keyboard. To counter that, perform the following exercise: open your arms wide as if you are going to hug someone, rotate your wrists externally (thumbs going up and back) and pull your shoulders back. This stretch is moving your body the opposite way to being hunched and you should feel a good stretch across your upper chest.
  8. Contract your abdominal and gluteal muscles, hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this for every few minutes all day long while you are working at your desk.
  9. Stretch your arms, legs, neck and torso while sitting. This will help prevent you from feeling stiff.

10.  Take advantage of the downtime created by rebooting or large file downloads to get up and try something more ambitious such as doing a few push-ups, sit-ups, and/or jumping jacks. Beware of your snickering co-workers though.

11.  Acquire a hand gripper. They are cheap, small and light. When you have to read something either on the screen or on paper, you probably won’t be using your hands very often so squeeze your gripper. It is an excellent forearm workout.

12.  Acquire an elastic band (also cheap, small and light) and use it to do the actions mentioned in step 9 (i.e., when stretching your arms, do it by pulling apart the elastic band). You will not only stretch but it will also work the muscles slightly.

13.  Take a few deep breaths. If possible, get some fresh air in your lungs.

14.  Invest in a large size stability ball or stability ball style desk chair, and sit on it with back straight and abs firm. The actual stability ball is more effective, however the chair is a more viable option for use in an office environment. Sit, bounce or do basic toning exercises while watching TV or talking on the phone as well. Use the actual ball form in moderation when typing, as this is probably not the most supportive seating to prevent carpal tunnel and tendonitis.

15.  While sitting, lift up your legs on the balls of your feet and set them down. Repeat these until your legs are comfortably tired. Then repeat it again about 10 minutes later. Do this whole routine for about an hour or so. This will exercise your calves.

16.  Have a bottle of water by your side and make a habit of drinking some every half hour. If you do this consistently you will begin to feel more alert.

17.  Another good method of exercising is to masturbate, which can be fun, especially when watching porn online. Ejaculate into a plastic bag, not your hands or the floor. This helps make your right hand stronger, you should try using your left hand to to even out the strengths.

18.  A good stretch for your arms and shoulders is to brace your hands on the edge your desk, each about a shoulder width away from your body. Twist your hands in so they point towards your body and lean forwards, hunching your shoulders.

19.  Take this a step further and push your shoulders and elbows closer to the desk.

Wonder if Heather has any idea that #17 is lurking out there?

Celebrating thoroughness today.

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