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Five office friendly stretches to prevent neck & back pain

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

Did you know that one of the main reasons office workers seek our physios’ help is neck and back pain? It’s not all that surprising if you think about it – we sit at desks all day long, we slouch, we cross our legs, we forget about our posture. As a result, many people find that they start to suffer pains in the upper back or neck. These pains can affect not only our physical wellbeing but also our mental wellbeing, and in most cases they end up requiring treatment.

The good news is that most neck and back pains can be managed or even avoided with well-selected, regularly-performed exercises.

If you spend most of your day seated, try adding these five easy stretches to your daily routine to keep your neck and back in good shape. We know you’re busy, which is why all of the stretches can be done at your desk.

How to approach stretching

Look at the demonstrations and copy the movements of our new physio, Eric Fung.While stretching, don’t forget to breathe deeply.Repeat each stretch 10 to 15 times.When possible, repeat the stretches hourly. Simply set an alarm to remind you.Consult your doctor or physio if you feel pain or discomfort.


Stretch 1 – Neck turn

When you work at a computer, you tend to lean forward, without looking around much. Your neck gets stuck in that position and misses out on side-to-side movement. This simple stretch is very effective at easing neck tension and releasing your muscles. Just sit up straight and turn your head slowly from side to side.

Stretch 2 – Chin tuck 

Most of the time, our chin pushes forward. This can cause upper crossed syndrome (put simply muscle imbalance), resulting in tight muscles at the front of the neck and weak muscles at the back. With this exercise, try to retract your chin backwards slightly in order to activate deep neck stability. After you tuck your chin, hold it there for a breath or two. This simple exercise is great for strengthening the neck.

Stretch 3 – Shoulder shrug

This is a very easy exercise, but it’s great for releasing tension and stiffness in the neck. Just shrug your shoulders up, hold for a breath or two and then slowly relax. Your neck and shoulders are connected, so make sure you keep your shoulders moving throughout the day.

Stretch 4 – Chest Opener

Poor posture while sitting can cause chest muscles to tighten. This exercise is excellent at releasing tension and discomfort in the upper body. Simply sit upright, put your hands behind your neck and open up your shoulders. Try to stick your chest out a little, take a deep breath and relax.

Stretch 5 – Lateral stretch

This exercise is similar to triceps stretches but incorporates additional stretching from bending your body to the sides. Doing this helps to stretch the trunk muscles on the opposite side, which often can cause posture problems.

It’s as easy as that! Just remember to stretch regularly and you will be doing a world of good for the health of your neck and back.

If you’ve tried stretching and not seen an improvement, or you already suffer from acute back pain, our physios are here to help. Click here to find out more, or call 2715 4577 to book a physiotherapy appointment.



To help you to make informed decisions about your health we will be hosting a free event at our clinic – “Help! My joints are failing me. What are my options? Cartilage Regeneration & Joint Preservation”

The event will include a talk by a specialist in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and exercise demonstrations by a physiotherapist followed by a Q&A session.

Light refreshments and snacks will be served on the evening. Places are limited, therefore please register at soon to secure your spot.

Date: 28th August  Time: Doors open at 6:30 pm, talk starts at 7:00 pm Location: HKSS, 715 Jardine House

As seats are limited, the event is open to HKSS patients only. To reserve your place, please email to


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