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Taking regular breaks to move around and stretch are one of the easiest ways to make yourself more comfortable and keep yourself mobile during your work day.
The body is designed to be mobile and keeping it in one position for a long time can lead to discomfort. Along with regularly changing your posture and varying your work tasks, the following stretches can help to prevent stiffness and discomfort:
- Stretches at work
- Neck stretches
- Shoulder and arm stretches
- Forearm, wrist and hand stretches
- Leg and back stretches
Please be aware of the following precautions:
- Seek medical advice prior to starting new stretches if you have an injury or medical condition.
- Use slow and gentle movements. Do not pull, push or bounce on your joints.
- Only stretch as far as you feel comfortable do not force any movements. A light pulling or tension/tightness should be felt in the body areas indicated.
- Stretching should not feel painful, if you feel pain stop and release the stretch, you may have stretched too far.
- Most stretches can be held for 10 to 30 seconds before releasing the stretch. If you feel uncomfortable relax the stretch.
- Breathe normally, do not hold your breath.
- Stretch both sides of your body evenly.
- Most of these stretches shown can be performed while standing or seated. In either position you should start with a good base of support by placing your feet flat onto the floor in parallel and about as far apart as your shoulders. Face forwards with your shoulders relaxed and arms beside you.
Note: in conjunction with stretching you should:
- Vary your posture regularly between standing, sitting or walking
- Vary the tasks you are doing so that your muscles, joints and soft tissues remain active.
If you need further advice about workplace stretches you can contact the WHS Unit.
For printable versions of the workplace stretches, download the following PDFs: