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Stretching for the Computer Athlete


People often sit in poor or awkward postures while working on the computer, playing on gaming systems, using a laptop, and even manipulating hand held electronic devices. These postures can cause stress to the body. Over time, these body stressors may develop into repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis.

Stretching and strengthening programs can be instrumental in easing the rounded shoulder and forward head postures that develop from computer or desk activities. A recent study shows that stretching may not only improve flexibility but can also enhance performance making people stronger and increasing their endurance (Chronic Static Stretching Improves Exercise Performance; October 2007; Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise).

The study also suggests that stretching is an important part of an exercise program for those who are out of shape or just beginning an exercise program.

Here are a few recommended stretches for the computer athlete �
(Stretches should never hurt. Stop if you have pain. Hold the stretch gently. Do not bounce).

Marji Hajic is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist practicing in Santa Barbara, California. For more information on hand and upper extremity injuries, prevention and recovery, visit Hand Health Resources.

Helpful Products

Several programs are available that can cue you to take a break when working on the computer. These programs also provide stretching instructions and illustrations.

Helpful Resources




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