How To Cope With Pain Blog header image 1

Exercises To Avoid Pain While At Your Computer

April 11th, 2008 · 9 Comments

A reader, Tracy, asked about computer use and pain.  In this series of 3 articles, we’ll look at this issue.

In the previous 2 posts in this series, we’ve looked at:

Today we’ll look at what exercises can prevent and help pain while you’re at your keyboard.  Here are some guidelines:

1. Take frequent breaks, at least once per hour.

2. Neck and shoulder exercises:

  • Shrug your shoulders up and down.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and then relax.
  • Pull your shoulders down while gently leaning your head to each side.
  • Rotate your shoulders back several times and then forward several times.
  • Slowly turn your head side to side several times.

3. Arm and hand exercises

  • Rotate your wrists in slow circles for a minute.
  • Stretch your arms upward, palms up and fingers interlaced.  Hold for a few seconds and then relax.
  • Wiggle your fingers for 15 seconds.

4. Look at your arms, wrists and fingers while you type.
This is probably not an exercise you’ll find discussed in most places that help you be more comfortable at your computer.  But we’re learning that our eyesight is an important way our brains know what’s going on in our bodies.  For many of us, we don’t look at the keyboard while we’re typing.  What this causes is a mis-match between what our muscles are signaling to our brains and what’s coming in through our eyes.

By “correcting” this mis-match, i.e. letting our eyes register what movements we’re making, the mis-match goes away and pain can be less.  Studies are beginning to show that this technique may prevent and decrease repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Now I’ll listen to my own guidance and take a break!  Why don’t you do that too!  🙂

Other articles in this series:

Sign up for free delivery of How to Cope with Pain by email or RSS feed. If you liked this post, I'd appreciate your linking to it from your site or spreading the word through your favorite social media.

Tags: 1

9 responses so far ↓

  • seattle chiropractor // Nov 4, 2010 at 1:25 am

    It is important to take care of your back and neck since back pain can make your life intolerable. Back pain can completely interrupt your life, so prevention is key. Posture and good ergonomics as well as strengthening your back through exercise are all excellent ways to prevent back pain in the first place.

  • Imogen // Nov 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Now i am happy to be one of your visitants, I regain this website passing utilitarian and helpful, I cerebrate this great site has so much interesting info about health that I can’t still reckon .

  • Anterior deltoid Exercises // Oct 2, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Greate post. Keep writing such kind of info on your site. Im really impressed by your site.

  • Twisha // Dec 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I found this page useful and would like to share the image showing the exercises with the employees of my organization. Is it fine to put this image up on an internal portal for the employees?


  • How to Cope with Pain // Dec 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm


  • Twisha // Dec 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm


  • BeyonceJustice // Dec 4, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Its wonderful part of exercise for fingers.

  • Lisa // Oct 6, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Getting breaks during the whole duration of your shift is very important. Not that it will only relax you physically, it will also give your mental senses a break. Your mind will also get tired as much as your body, so taking breaks while you work is very beneficial. It will help you become more energized at work and when you reach home you still have the energy to take care of your family.

  • roger // Jan 12, 2015 at 1:08 am

    This was indeed very helpful. I get these frequent back aches and its very difficult to work with such a bad condition.

    Thanks alot for sharing these points.

Leave a Comment