Finger, hand, and wrist exercises for office workers
Working long hours at the computer every day can place serious strain on your fingers, hands, and wrists. Overuse and strain can lead to all sorts of aches and pains that can impact your functioning at work, as well as at home. In fact, some can even become serious enough to warrant medical attention, like an inflammation of the shoulder tendons — commonly referred to as “mouse shoulder” — that sends sharp pains from the shoulder into the arm, hand and upper back.
Fortunately, just like you can strengthen your biceps by lifting weights or become more flexible by stretching, you can also use exercise to enhance the strength and flexibility of your fingers, hands, and wrists. If you work at the computer all day long, try doing the following exercises during quick breaks:
- Figure eights: According to Healthline, figure eights are a good way to strengthen your hands and wrists. Begin by interlacing your hands in front of your body with your elbows tucked into your sides. Make a figure eight motion with your hands, rotating your wrists completely so that first one, then the other is on top. Keep this up for 10 to 15 seconds, rest, and repeat. Next, stretch your arms upwards and intertwine your fingers with your palms together. Then turn your palms upward while keeping your fingers interlaced. You’ll feel a stretch in your fingers, hands, and wrists. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, bring your arms down, and repeat the stretch again.
- Singular movements: In the Good Relaxationarticle “5 Hand Exercises for Office Workers,” Urmet Seepter explains that singular movements can reduce the negative impact of the repetitive movements we make when typing. A highly effective way to stretch the fingers is to lay your hands, palms down, on a flat surface — such as your desk — and then lift up each finger individually. Make sure the other fingers and your palms stay flat on the desk.
- Wrist extensions: Harlon Malkowich highlights this classic exercise in his article “5 Best Wrist Exercises for Computer Users” for Custom Fit Online. Extend your arm in front of you with your palm facing forward. Then use your other hand to pull your fingers back gently towards you. Hold the stretch for between five and 10 seconds, then repeat.
By carefully practicing these exercises, you can help improve the overall condition and flexibility of your arms, wrists, and hands. Nevertheless, always keep in mind that if you’re experiencing pain or a diminished range of motion, you’re best advised to see your doctor and possibly a physical therapist.