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Chained to a desk all day? Here's how to ease the tension

The question

I spend all day at my computer, which leaves my upper back and shoulders sore. I try to sit up straight, but I end up hunching. Are there exercises I can do while working to make me feel better?

The answer

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First, make sure that your computer is stationed directly in front of your chair. The only thing worse for your back and neck than sitting hunched all day is sitting twisted and hunched all day.

Twice an hour, try to do seated ceiling reaches. Reach your arms straight up toward the ceiling. Allow your eyes to follow your hands. Hold for two seconds. Lower your arms and repeat five times.

Two to three times per day, do seated arm circles and rotations and wall posture pushes.

Seated arm circles and rotations: Sitting tall in your chair, make a big circle backward with your right arm. Allow your head and chest to rotate with your arm. Alternate arms for 10 reps.

Posture pushes: Stand with your back against a wall, palms facing the wall. Tuck your chin in so that you give yourself a double chin while simultaneously drawing your shoulders back and pushing your arms against the wall. Repeat 10 times.

I know it can be hard, but try to take regular breaks throughout the day to give your body a mental and physical rest.

Trainer's tip

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Try putting a SitFit inflatable cushion on your chair. The unstable nature of the cushion may help you be more aware of your core and posture, which could help you sit taller while at your desk. It is small and fairly inconspicuous, which makes it perfect for work.

Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at She will answer select questions, which could appear in the Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail website. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

Read more Q&As from Kathleen Trotter

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