Exercises you can do at your desk

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Doctors are seeing more cases than ever before of people suffering from neck, shoulder and lower back pain. (KTRK)

Doctors are seeing more cases than ever before of people suffering from neck, shoulder and lower back pain.

The culprit for many is poor posture and sitting long periods of time hunched over computers, smart phones or tablets.

But there are a few simple things you can do to ease those aches and pains.

The employees at JLL Commercial Real Estate in the Galleria opened their office to Eyewitness News, and said they often experience tightness from working at their desks.

"I sit all day long, so I feel pain in my lower back and my neck," said employee Valerie Chavez.

Personal trainer Jay Sutaria says the first thing to do to help is to improve posture.

"She wants to push her butt all the way back - hips back to the back of the chair, and she's already in a better position to work," Sutaria said. "Another thing she can do is squeeze her back or shoulder blades together, and automatically her chest is popped up and her head stays neutral."

He also advises to take periodic breaks from sitting. He suggests standing and walking around for most of your phone calls, or just taking a quick walk down the hall to give your neck and lower back a break.

There are also several stretches and exercises that will help.

"The first stretch is for your lower back. Left hand straight up in the air, reach to your right, and then reach forward like you're trying to grab something," Sutaria said.

An exercise to strengthen the lower back is the plank.

"A stretch for your chest and anterior delt that get tight when you're sitting at the computer...go ahead and find a door frame or a filing cabinet, and put your hand on it, and grab it and spin away to create space," Sutaria said. "A great exercise to do after the chest stretch will activate your back, so you want to put your hands out right here, and pull and squeeze your shoulder blades together."

To stretch the neck muscles, grab the left side of your head with the right hand. From there, pull down at a 45 degree angle.

"This will lengthen the muscles in the upper trap from the bottom of her ear to the top of the shoulder, and take away the immediate tension from the muscles," Sutaria said.

Push forward with a lunge stretch to lengthen the hips.

"I feel way looser and much more energized," said employee Margaret Martin after just minutes of trying the activities.

Many of these exercises work best at home, but Sutaria says give a few a try during the day. Not only will it help reduce pain and tightness, but your energy levels should spike.
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