Earlier this week we shared our advice on how using the ‘20 20 20’ Rule can help you keep your brain active and positive while working from home.
Today’s advice is focused on some simple physical movements designed to help look after your neck and shoulder muscles, and as a result boost your mental wellbeing, while working from home.
As we discussed working in an unusual environment or at a temporary workstation can lead to posture and muscle issues. For example, if display equipment or the furniture you’re working from are not at the correct height or angle you may end up hunched over for long periods or in a position that inadvertently forces your muscle into an unhealthy angle.
If you haven’t got a home office space readily available you may not have a lot of choice about how you set up but we’ve got two simple exercises that can offer you the chance to look after your body, and your mind, all without leaving your desk.
Simple Shoulder Roll
Sitting straight but relaxed take a deep breath and slowly blink your eyes a few times. This will rehydrate them and give the muscle a chance to recharge.
Now take another deep breath in and, as you exhale slowly, roll your shoulders up and back before settling into a relaxed position. This motion will help prevent hunching.
In this position take another deep breath, remembering to exhale fully, once you feel fully recharged you can get back to your work.
Simple Neck Roll
Sitting straight but relaxed take a deep breath in and as you exhale lower your head down until your chin meets your chest.
With your chin on your chest take another deep breath in and as you exhale roll your head to the left bringing your ear towards your shoulder (make sure to try and keep your shoulders level).
Now take another deep breath in and as you do slowly roll your head back towards the centre of your chest. Once you’ve reached it exhale and slowly roll your head to the right again bringing your ear to your shoulder (remember those level shoulders).
Take another breath in and return your chin to your chest before exhaling and raising your head back up to the start position.
Repeat three times to help loosen and recharge your neck muscles from long periods of work (it will also give your eyes and brain a break as well).
Don’t worry if you can’t bring your chin to your chest or your ear to your shoulder straight away, just stay and relaxed and practice regularly and you’ll be there in no time.
Small exercises like these (along with the ‘20 20 20’ Rule) can have immense benefits when working in an environment where it’s easy to sit for long periods without moving. There are plenty more to try so find the ones that work for you.