Healthy Habits for online Students

  • Healthy Habits for Online Students

    9 Simple Exercises You Can Do From Your Desk Chair

    Studying online? Then you probably already know how important it is to have a comfortable chair and be able to sit for long periods of time. Online students are likely to find themselves hovered over their keyboards for more than 30 minutes at a time. If this sounds like you, then you will probably benefit from these simple stretches and exercises!

    You don't need a yoga mat to get a good stretching workout—there are very simple exercises that you can do from your desk chair while you study online. Best of all, these stretches won't feel like a workout. They'll help you de-stress, feel good, and help put you back on track so you can complete the task at hand. Here are an array of exercises to stretch your fingers, back, neck, and arms. Pay attention when you do the exercises not to overstretch. Relax and breathe through the stretches to get the most from them. Soon after completing these, you'll be back to the computer (or the books) in no time!

    Here are an array of exercises to stretch your fingers, back, neck, and arms. Pay attention when you do the exercises not to overstretch. Relax and breathe through the stretches to get the most from them. Soon after completing these, you'll be back to the computer (or the books) in no time!

    Exercise 1: Easing Tension in the Fingers & Hands

    Since your fingers do the typing, why not give them a rest with this easy finger stretch? If you do it, you're more likely to complete your work faster and more accurately.

    1. Spend a lot of time holding a pen or typing?

    Just take a break and straighten your fingers and separate them until you feel the muscles stretch.

    2. Hold the pose for 10 seconds.

    3. Next, bend the end and middle knuckles, keeping your hand and wrist in the same position.

    4. Hold for 10 seconds.

    5. Relax, repeat and enjoy!

    Exercise 2: Hand & Arm Reach

    Work on your arms and shoulders with this next movement.

    1. Elongate your arms away from your body with your fingers laced together and your palms reaching out.

    2. Straighten your arms out.

    3. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.

    4. Repeat this exercise two or three times.

    Exercise 3: Gently Stretching the Arms

    Move your focus up to your arms and give them a good elongation.

    1. Reach behind your head with your right hand and place your palm

    against your upper back. Keep your arm close to your ear and bend your other elbow.

    2. Now, with your left arm reaching behind your head, use your left hand to hold your right elbow.

    3. Pull your right elbow towards the back of your head.

    4. Reach your right hand towards the middle of your back until you feel a gentle stretch.

    5. Hold the pose for up to 15 seconds.

    6. Now stretch the other side! You'll look like you're scratching your back, but instead, you're stretching your arms!

    Exercise 4: Back & Forth: Your Neck

    Get another stretch of your neck along the sides.

    1. Start this stretch by facing forward, looking straight ahead.

    2. Next, tilt your head to one side.

    3. Ever so gently, lean your neck so that your ear is being pushed towards your shoulder.

    4. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.

    5. Lift your head upright, then move to the other side.

    6. Repeat this stretch a few times on each side.

    Exercise 5: Turning Your Neck 90°

    Tired of keeping your eyes glued to a computer monitor? Here is an additional exercise to help ease neck tension.

    1. Start by looking straight ahead.

    2. Then, you will slowly turn your head and look from one side to the other.

    3. Make sure your chin is parallel with your shoulder, keeping your shoulders straight ahead. (Try not to shrug your shoulders to meet your chin. Instead, make your neck twist so your chin goes towards your shoulders.)

    5. Hold for up to 10 seconds, return to the starting position and relax before moving to the other side.

    6. Repeat this exercise twice on each side.

    Exercise 6: Loosening the Neck & Shoulders

    If your neck is stiff from typing or writing, this exercise will help

    loosen it up!

    1. Start off by facing straight ahead and keeping your back straight.

    2. Next, pull your chin towards your chest until you feel the

    elongation of the muscles along the back of your neck.

    3. Hold this position for five to 10 seconds before returning to the

    starting pose.

    4. Repeat three times.

    Exercise 7: Focus on the Shoulders

    You can also get a great stretch in your shoulders by doing a simple shoulder shrug.

    1. Work the neck, shoulder and upper back muscles

    by shrugging your shoulder up towards your ears.

    2. Keep your shoulders in the shrugged position and hold the pose for three to five seconds.

    3. Roll your shoulders back, and then down.

    4. Repeat this exercise up to 10 times for a great stretch!

    Stretching the Lower Back

    Now it's time for a full stretch—let's work the middle and lower back!

    1. Just sit forward in your chair, so there is only a little space between your back and the chair.

    2. Next, face forward and cross your right leg over your left one.

    3. Place your left hand on your right knee.

    4. Gently pull your right leg towards your left side while you turn your head and shoulders to the right.

    5. Continue to rotate your body until you see the wall behind your right shoulder. Take care not to force the turn too much—just go until you feel a good stretch in your back.

    6. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds.

    7. Relax and repeat on the other side

    Stretching Your Chest Muscles

    Now concentrate on the upper torso while working your upper back and neck.

    1. Lace your fingers together behind your head, as you would doing a sit-up.

    2. Bring your elbows towards your back as far as possible, widening your chest area and constricting your back muscles.

    3. Next, squeeze your shoulder blades together until you feel the


    4. Hold for 20 seconds.

    5. Relax and duplicate the exercise.

    Feel Better?

    The key to getting the benefits of these exercises is not to force them.

    Don't overstretch—the moves should feel good and never painful.

    It is important to take time away from your online studies and your

    workday to de-stress and ease the tension in your body. Even during

    crunch time, when you're focused on writing or studying for an exam,

    make an effort to do these simple stretches. Aside from the

    immediate benefits, you'll enable your body to support you when

    long hours lie ahead.