Reducing Ergonomic Strain in the Office

Workers should shift positions frequently, remember to blink while working at a monitor screen, and vary work routines so that they can maintain their best health.

Office work environments should be able to accommodate light stretching or exercises that will avoid or keep strains to a minimum. 

Never do any exercises which cause pain, are uncomfortable, are not within your physical constraints, or are in opposition to the orders of your doctor.  Here are a few exercises to help reduce strain at the office:

Eye strain 

  • At regular intervals, change your focus. If possible, focus on something at least 20 feet away from you for about 30 seconds.
  • Rotate your eyes around. Look toward the ceiling, then down to the floor, then to each side.
  • Periodically focus on the edge of the ceiling and follow the line.
  • Close your eyes for a second or two so they will be properly moistened.
  • Rise from your chair and walk around.

Neck strain

  • Slowly turn your head from the left to the right.
  • Tilt your head toward your shoulder and then roll your chin down to your chest. Do the other side the same way.

Shoulder strain

  • Stretch arms as far above your head as you can.
  • Place your arms at your sides and then roll your shoulders forward.
  • Lace your fingers behind your head. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Upper back strain

  • Lace your fingers behind your head. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Extend your arms in front of you perpendicular to the floor. Lace your fingers together and push your palms away from your body.

Lower back strain

  • Put your hands on your hips and gently bend backward.

Arm and rib cage strain

  • Stretch your arms overhead and hold for a bit.
  • Put your hands on your hips and gently bend side to side.

Finger strain

  • Clench your hand into a fist. Next splay your fingers as far as you can to stretch them.

Forearm strain

  • Put your palms together in front of your chest. Keeping palms flat together, slowly lower your arms until you feel a slight stretch in your forearms.

Arm strain

  • Lace your fingers together, and then straighten your arms until they are perpendicular to the floor with the palms facing away from your body.


There are other exercises you can do to reduce strain. Ask your doctor for advice if there are areas which bother you. Never continue to exercise if it becomes painful or uncomfortable.

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