Your hands and wrists go through a lot of stress day in and day out when they’re constantly typing and clicking away at a computer. That’s why it’s important to take some time every day to show them some love and make sure they are stretched and healthy. Here are some great exercises you can do to protect your hands and wrists from damage.
A day in the office often involves spending a lot of hours, bent over the desk typing and clicking in front of a computer. Many people who hold office desk jobs are required to work at least 40 hours a week. This leads to repeated hand motions such as clicking the mouse, maneuvering the keyboard, and swiping at touchscreens.
Even if you are a casual computer user, you still spend a significant amount of time typing on the keyboard. At the end of the day, you are left with cramping and aching hands. These actions may seem insignificant but when done repeatedly can lead to disabilities and render one unemployable. Common symptoms to indicate your hands have been affected are; stiffness at the base of a finger, feeling the heat, or a clicking sound when using your hands to do various activities.
One of the best ways to treat these symptoms is doing simple stretches from your office desk or standing desk. Here are simple exercises to relieve hand tension that comes from too much typing that can be done at your desk:
1. Shake your Hands
Shake your wrist and hands after typing for a long time to encourage blood flow, and relieve stiff joints. Here are the steps:
- Spread out your palms in front of you while the palms face the floor.
- Shake your hands in slow motion as you let the wrist go limp.
- Continue for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Repeat the process about 3 times.
2. Thumb Touches
Here is the process involved in thumb touches:
- Hold your hands with your palms facing upward.
- Starting with the right hand, bring your thumb to touch the tip of every finger.
- Repeat this in the left hand.
- Do the exercise again with both hands, repeating for about 5 times.
Thumb touches are a nice exercise to increase thumb and finger coordination, and help to reintroduce blood flow to the hands.
3. Open and Expand your Hands
After typing for too long, your hands get in a closed position which can cause pain. One of the easiest ways to combat this pain is to unclench your hands.
Gently expand, and then close your hands a few times as you focus on how the exercise brings a feeling of spaciousness.
4. Praying Position
Perhaps you already know how to put together hands in a praying position. However, this gesture can also be used as a hand and wrist exercise. Here is how it works:
In a standing position, bring your hands together infront of your heart in a praying position.
Your arms should be touching each other.
- With palms pressed together, spread your elbows apart as you lower your hands to waist length.
- Hold this stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Lower your palm down facing the floor.
- Gently pull your fingers back toward your body.
5. Wrist Stretch
- This stretch is an excellent way to alleviate joint pain in the wrist caused by too much typing. Here is how to do it:
- Stretch out your right hand in front of you with the palm facing upward.
- Using your left hand, grip all four fingers.
- Gently pull the fingers towards the ceiling.
- Repeat now starting with the left hand.
- Hold on to the stretch for ten seconds.
6. Wrist Flex and Extension
The wrist flex and extension increase blood flow to the hands.
Sit upright with both feet flat on the floor.
- Rest one arm at the edge of your desk with palms facing downwards.
- Gently stretch your hands so that that your gingers face the ceiling.
- Hold this stretch for 15 seconds then resume to the original position.
- Switch hands, and repeat the exercise on the other arm.
7. Desk press
Desk press can help you build hand and wrist strength and prevent injury.
- While seated on your office desk, place your arms under the table, as the palms face up.
- Press upward against the bottom of the desk.
- Hold on to this position for about 10 seconds and release.
8. Grip strengthener
Grip strengthening exercise increases your overall hand and forearm strength while strengthening your wrist muscles. It also makes it easier for you to hold things without dropping them, and open doorknobs.
- Sit on a chair while your arm is supported by a table.
- Hold a softball or hand gripper and squeeze the ball or gripper with all fingers.
- Release and then repeat at least 10 to 15 times.
9. Wrist rotate
This simple hand exercise helps to ease the tension around the wrist area after too much typing.
- Hold your right elbow close to the side of your body.
- Slowly rotate your palm upwards then downwards.
- Hold the position for a slow count of 10 until you feel the stretch.
- Repeat with your left hand.
- Do this on each hand 3 -5 times.
Importance of Hands and Wrist Exercises
These regular relaxation techniques can significantly reduce inflammation in your finger caused by all day typing thus reducing the mobility of your hand. Office users and people using mouses and keyboards frequently perform these simple hand exercises, coupled with sitting on ergonomic chairs, have seen numerous benefits. These include:
- Improved blood circulation.
- Providing a break from staring at the computer too long, thus reducing eye strain.
- Relieve pain and discomfort.
- Release mental blocks and muscle cramps.
To Wrap Up
In the past years, labor has changed from manual to digital. We now no longer need to lift heavy loads since the current trend is typing on keyboards. While this shift seems like relief from hard work, hours of typing leaves us with significant pain in the hand and wrist. These hand exercises have proven benefits among computer users, and you should start incorporating these into your daily routine. Spare a few minutes a day doing these simple exercises from your desk to reduce the chances of injuries to your hands. These hand exercises can benefit you physically and mentally. They also improve productivity.
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