Hunching over your computer for hours at work — not to mention carrying the weight of patriarchy on your shoulders — can definitely cause muscle tension. At first, it might seem like a minor issue, but as time goes by, the pain can really sneak up on you.
Luckily, exercising, getting a massage, and doing more physical activities can all help alleviate shoulder pain. However, if you're too busy to do all these regularly, you can do easy shoulder stretches, right from the (dis)comfort of your office chair.
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The first thing you can do to relieve the tightness in your shoulder area is to correct your posture. Whenever you notice yourself hunching over your desk, sit up straight slowly, while engaging your ab muscles. Try to maintain this posture for as long as possible. This'll help relieve tension while also strengthening your abdomen.
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Cow face pose
To do this popular, desk-appropriate yoga pose, raise your arm straight up then bend your elbow and let your hand reach behind your head. Put your left arm behind your back, bend your elbow, and reach for your right shoulder blade. Interlock your hands if possible and hold it for at least 20 seconds. Switch the position of your arms to stretch your other shoulder.
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Reverse shoulder stretch
For this stretching activity, you may need to stand for a few minutes. But don't worry, it's still easy and it's actually generally good for your productivity to stand up and walk every once in a while.
To do this stretch, interlock your fingers behind you near your butt. Keep your back straight, your shoulder blades together, and push your arms up until you feel the stretch in your body. Do this position for at least 30 seconds.
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Cross-body arm stretch
For this stretch, you can do it while standing or sitting. Put one arm over your chest and lock it with your other hand by bending your elbow. Pull the stretched arm toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold this for at least 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.