As a leading provider of online medical billing courses, we know the challenges that come with online learning. One challenge that is often overlooked is the physical stress that comes with sitting at a computer for long periods. For those that are not used to being sedentary, neck and shoulder pain or tension might start to creep up if one does not properly stretch. Here are a few stretches one should do frequently to avoid neck and shoulder pain, or if they feel tension starting in these areas. However, keep in mind that it’s always best to check with a medical professional before you start any strenuous stretching programs!

Seated Spinal Rotation

If you feel tension in your back or shoulders, this is a back and shoulder stretch that should be done multiple times daily to ease tensions. While seated, cross your arms over your chest, and grab the shoulders. Slowly, rotate your upper body from the waist. Gently turn from side to side, and go only as far as what feels comfortable. As you twist back and forth, you should feel the tension release on both sides of your lower back, as well as your shoulder area.

Shoulder Stretches: Shrugs

This is a very simple, yet effective shoulder stretch. Gently and slowly lift both your shoulders, then let them fall gradually. As your shoulders slowly drop, you should feel the tension being released.

Neck Stretches: Rotations

If most of the tension is in the neck area, neck rotations are a simple and quick neck stretch to relieve pain or tension. Keeping your head upright, slowly turn your head from left to right. As your head turns, try to move it past the shoulders, but only if it feels comfortable. As you turn your head from side to side, you should feel the muscles around your neck slowly stretching, relieving tension. You should repeat this neck stretch several times daily to avoid neck pain.

Along with stretching, you should take a break for a few minutes every hour or so. Being at a computer for long stretches of time can be a challenge, but you can overcome it with a little self-care!