Do you work so hard that you forget to get out of your swivel chair? That can lead to aches and repetitive stress injuries, says Dr. Margaret Lewin, medical director of Cinergy Health. She devised exercises for desk workers to do every hour to minimize the effect of sitting still for long periods. Below are movements for the neck and shoulders. (Find exercises for lower-back pain and aching wrists at mcmag.com/webexclusives.)
First, gently drop your chin to your chest and slowly trace the movement of the hands of a clock with your chin, rotating clockwise all around three times; then go counterclockwise. Next, gently and slowly try to touch your left ear to your left shoulder without raising that shoulder; do the same with your right ear to your right shoulder. Repeat three times.
Next, bend your elbows and place your fingers on your shoulders; then raise your elbows as high as they will go and swing them forward until they touch. Repeat this movement three times. Then swing your elbows backward as far as you can, three times in a row.