Stretch it

… at your desk!

Sitting for long hours in the office, no matter what your position is, can cause you more problems than not being able to be home on time. The sedentary nature of office work increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, along with aches and pains that come from not moving for hours. Additionally, staring at the computer screen for a long time could possibly cause vision problems and also trigger headaches.

Not all offices are so lucky to be equipped with ergonomic furniture or prioritise their employees’ health and safety. However, there are ways to ensure that your health isn’t jeopardised by your need to sit for hours on end every day.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can cause numbness, stiffness and pain in the fingers and hands due to compression of the median nerve located on the palm side of the hand. Thus, hand exercises are especially important for those who face the computer all day and sometimes, all night.

Here’re some stretches for your wrists and hands that you can do at your desk!

Clenched fists

  • Place your hands on your thighs with your palms up. 
  • Slowly and gently clench your hands into fists and remember not to clench too tightly. 
  • Raise your fists off your legs towards your body and hold for 10 seconds. 
  • Lower your fists then slowly open your fingers. 
  • Repeat 10 times.

Tennis ball squeeze

  • To help strengthen your wrist, squeeze a tennis ball or stress ball firmly for five to 10 seconds. 
  • No pain should be felt.

Figure eights

  • Interlace your fingers.
  • Move your interlaced fingers in a figure eight motion. 
  • Ensure that your wrists rotate fully where your hand will alternately be on top of the other.
  • Do this for 10 to 15 seconds. 
  • Rest and repeat again.
  • Lift your arms over your head with your fingers interlaced and palms together.
  • Turn your palms up until they face the ceiling while keeping your arms slightly bent or straighten them. 
  • Hold for a slow count of 10.
  • Bring your arms down then repeat.

Thumb strength


  • Make a thumbs-up sign.
  • Gently pull back your thumb with your free hand and resist with your hand muscles to stop your thumb from moving.
  • Hold and repeat five times.


  • Make a thumbs-up sign.
  • Gently push your thumb forward with your free hand and resist with your hand muscles.
  • Hold and repeat five times.

Reach for the sky

  • Literally, reach for the sky with both arms extended straight upwards.
  • This helps boost circulation and also boosts flexibility.

Get up! 

There’s no need to go for a jog during your lunch break. Get up every 15 to 30 minutes and fill your mug with water, stretch your legs, or even walk to the bathroom

Reference: Healthline