If You Use a Computer, Try These Exercises

Computer User ? Get serious about exercising your hands and wrists

If you are a computer user and type or use your mouse for long periods of time, and maybe even come home to play video games, your wrists are getting overused. If so, you’ll want to exercise them.

Incorrect computer ergonomics (see Is Your Work Environment Ergonomically Correct and Healthy?), repetition and overuse can cause weakness, stiffness and wrist pain. Even with the best ergonomic chair and desk position, if you have bad posture, that can contribute to a painful situation for your hands and wrists. As we mentioned before, prolonged sitting (see The Office Workout) is bad for your whole body, but don’t neglect your hands and wrist – they need to recover after a long day at the office too!

“Be kind to your hands and wrists and they’ll be kind to you!”

Computer User Wrist Extension Flexion  It’s crucial to protect your fingers and wrists and prevent injuries that would make it painful for you to use a keyboard and mouse at work – do this before your hands act up and demand attention. Performing these easy exercises to help protect your wrists:

»  they are easy, won’t require you to sweat and can be done anywhere

»  they won’t take long to do

»  most can be done without anyone even noticing

»  all can be done without any equipment (except the tennis ball squeeze)

»  you can start now *

Stretches and Strength for Wrists & Hands

Performing simple exercises for your wrists and hands every day to strengthen them. Keep your hands and fingers flexible and prevent injury. Your hand exercises are important so you can enjoy that long career of sharing your best ideas and thoughts. And don’t forget that you need your hands and wrists to move that mouse to point and click too.

* Check with your Doctor before starting Computer User Exercises

If you are doing these exercises because of wrist pain, we recommend that you speak with your healthcare professional prior to doing these or any workout. While wrist exercises increase flexibility and help lower the risk of injury, they should not be done by people who may be suffering from joint damage or inflammation unless recommended by their doctor. There are situations where exercise could cause more harm to your wrists or hands so always speak with your doctor first. It is important to determine the exact cause of your wrist pain.


Simple Hand and Wrist Stretches for a Computer User

Here are several easy wrist stretches you can do at your desk at work. No one will know you are exercising.

Praying Position Stretches

Difficulty =  Easy

  1. While standing, place palms together in a praying position. Elbows should touch each other with your hands in front of your face. Your arms should be touching each other from the tips of your fingers to your elbows.
  2. With your palms pressed together, slowly spread your elbows apart. Do this while lowering your hands to waist height. Stop when your hands are in front of your belly button or you feel the stretch.
  3. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 times.

Extended Arm Stretch

Difficulty =  Easy

  1. Extend one arm in front of you at shoulder height.
  2. Keep your palm down, facing the floor.
  3. Release your wrist so that your fingers point down.
  4. With your free hand, gently grasp your fingers and pull them back toward your body.
  5. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

To stretch in the opposite direction:

  1. Extend your arm with your palm facing toward the ceiling.
  2. With your free hand, gently press your fingers down toward the floor.
  3. Gently pull your fingers back toward your body.
  4. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

Repeat both stretches with the other arm. You should cycle through stretches two or three times with each arm.

 

Wrist StretchComputer User Wrist Exercise

  1. Open both of your hands and spread your fingers out, as far as they can go.
  2. Close them and make a fist.
  3. Repeat 2 times.

Wrist Stretch 2 Computer User Wrist Stretch Exercise

  1. Hold your left hand up with your palm facing away from you.
  2. Using your right hand, pull back the fingers on your left hand to stretch your wrist. Feel the stretch, but don’t pull so hard that it hurts.
  3. Bend your left wrist so your fingers are facing down and use your right hand to stretch your wrist in that direction.
  4. Repeat for each hand 5 times.

Similar to the first exercise, with additional pressure for maximizing the stretch.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

  1. Get down on your hands and knees.
  2. Place your palms down on the floor with your forearms facing away from you.
  3. Push down on your palms till you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold position for the 10 seconds.

See more at Professionals Health Connection website.

Computer User? Build Hand and Wrist Strength

Building wrist strength can also help you prevent pain and injury. Here are several exercises you can use to build strength – whether you’re at home or in the office. Remember: this should not be painful – if you experience pain, talk to your doctor.

Desk Press

Difficulty =  Easy

  1.  While seated, place palms face up under a desk or table.
  2.  Press upwards against the bottom of the desk.
  3.  Hold for five to 10 seconds.

This exercise builds strength in the muscles that run from your wrists to your inner elbows.

Tennis Ball Squeeze

Difficulty =  Easy

  1.  Squeeze a tennis ball or stress ball firmly.
  2.  Hold for 10 seconds.
  3.  Repeat with your other hand.

Do this to strengthen your wrist.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to spend time with us. Be sure to share us with your family, friends and co-workers – share the gift of healthy reminders to stay active!

As always, wishing you the best of health!!

Joan E.

PS. Check out hand exercise equipment on amazon Gyroscopic Wrist and Forearm Exerciser .  Try this wrist pad for the best wrist support – so lightweight you can take it anywhere  IMAK Ergo Wrist Beads great for travel.

Shopping for workout equipment?  Visit our Fitness Shopping page for some products to make your workout interesting and fun!

∗ Warning:
there are many factors to consider before starting an exercise program. Please see your doctor before starting any exercise routine. Visit Professionals Health Connection to print these exercises to show your doctor and ask him/her for advice.

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Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

4 thoughts

    1. Thank you Frank – I hope you get a chance to do some of these exercises – they can prevent the painful wrists associated with lots of computer use. Be sure to email us via the contact page if you have any questions. Keep up the good work!

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