If you sit all day, like many people, you may notice that you have stiffness and are suffering from neck and upper back pain. It is actually very common not only from sitting at a desk, but due to all the gadgets that we are using on a daily basis that keep us looking down at the screens for long periods of time.
To avoid pain and injury, you really need to get up from your desk several time per day to move around and stretch. There is one exercise that I like called the wall stretch, this exercise can help undo the pain and stiffness caused by leaning and hunching forward all day. It helps open up the back, shoulder and chest muscles. It is simple to do and can be done almost anywhere, all you need to do is find a wall, lean against it with your head, shoulders. buttocks and feet touching the wall, start by raising your arms up, elbows bent with palms facing out (like the letter W) lightly press against the wall and start to raise your arms up and reach for the ceiling (like the letter Y) bring your arms back down to the rib cage and repeat, this can be done 10-15 reps at a slow pace, breath throughout and really feel the stretch.
Keep in mind a hunched posture can leave you with the look of rounded shoulders and a forward neck curve which over time can also lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain. So start using the wall stretch to beat back pain and improve your posture, this exercise is easy to do in your office and will keep you stretched and relieve muscle stiffness. I also recommend while sitting to be mindful of your posture, keep your shoulders back and your belly pulled in, you can do sets of naval pull ins several time a day and a few basic neck stretches too.
I tried my best to take pictures to demonstrate this stretch, keep in mind you are not looking at a camera like I was, I was trying to keep my body against the wall and look at you. Be sure to relax your neck and do the three steps of the stretch in sequence, taking nice deep breaths as you move.
I hope that you are feeling relaxed, less stiff and seeing better posture by the end of the week!