“The sad truth is that the more time you spend in front of a computer or desk, the more likely you are to experience some level of wrist pain,” says Brannigan. Before you begin your work, he recommends first noting how you hold your wrists, particularly whether or not they are in a neutral position. “It’s best to avoid having a setup that causes your wrists to sit at an angle for an extended period of time,” says Brannigan. “It may mean that you need to adjust the height of your desk, keyboard or chair. Ideally, you are able to sit with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, screen at eye level, and your hips slightly above your knees.
Throughout the day, check in with your body. If you feel a little more agitated or even tired, he may try to tell you to stop and reevaluate. “Don’t wait until you feel the pain to do something,” Brannigan says. He recommends taking time, every 30 minutes or so, to stop, pause, and do some quick motions to release tension, like these wrist stretches for office workers below.
3 wrist stretches for office workers to help relieve pain and tension
1. Wrist flexors
Extend your right arm straight out in front of you at shoulder height, palm up. Next, take your left hand and gently press the fingers of your right hand down to the floor. Keep your elbow straight and your shoulder relaxed. When you feel the stretch in the front of your right wrist, hold it for 2-3 seconds, release the wrist and repeat 8-10 times, then switch arms.
2. Wrist expanders
With your right arm stretched out in front of you and palm up, make a light fist with your hand. Keeping that elbow straight, grasp the fist with your other hand and gently bend your right hand towards you. (Be sure to keep your fist closed.) You should feel a stretch along the back of your hand, wrist, and forearm. Once you feel it, hold the stretch for 2-3 seconds, relax the wrist and repeat 8-10 times, then switch sides.
3. Thumbs down
Extend your right arm out in front of you, palm down, thumb inward. Grasp your thumb with the opposite hand and hold it in place as you rotate the arm so the little finger is pointing down. You should feel a stretch along the outside of your thumb and wrist. Once you feel it, hold the stretch for 2-3 seconds, relax the wrist and repeat 8-10 times, then switch sides.
Stretching before and during work is fine, but so is ending the day with a relaxing stretching session in bed. Try this one tonight:
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