Smart working: tips and exercises for muscles and joints

Smart working: tips and exercises for muscles and joints

Even when working from home in smart working, it is important to adopt useful precautions to maintain the well-being of muscles and joints

With the Covid19 emergency, many companies have introduced or extended Smart Working, a more agile way of working that has made it possible to reduce the need to be physically present in the office and to better respond to the often sudden changes that this pandemic has caused.

It is precisely the reduction in travel and the conversion of the home environment into a working space that has led to the need for a change in daily habits in order to maintain the well-being of muscles and joints.

Here are 3 wellness tips to keep in mind during smart working days.


  • Improve your posture with small steps
  • Avoid working on a bed or sofa
  • Mobilizes neck and shoulders
  • Exercises from the video

Improve your posture with small steps

Although the postural setting is different depending on the session used, in general the position most often adopted is with the gaze flexed on the computer and a consequent overload of the cervical area, or the area located between the neck and shoulders.

How to lighten the commitment of this body region? Try to place some books under the pc, so as to return to a neutral position with the head. This behavior benefits the posterior cervical musculature and has a positive effect on the whole back.

To keep the lumbar area active, instead, try to use an unstable surface under the buttocks or on the chair with simple proprioceptive discs or directly on a well swollen fitball, so as not to remain still for hours, but making small continuous movements of mobilization of the pelvis and hip.

It is also better to be careful not to keep your legs crossed for too long, a position that can cause excessive strain on the rotational hip muscles.

Avoid working on a bed or sofa

During the day of smart working it often happens to resort to the sofa or bed, a choice that, despite giving an apparent relief when changing position, can lead to the adoption of incorrect postures and attitudes.

Sofa and bed, in fact, are not good solutions to spend the days at the PC, since they do not provide adequate support to the body in the sitting position: if the soft surface of the cushions forces a greater flexion of the bust and head, the cervical area he has to support more weight, exerting himself excessively. Maintaining the legs in an elongated position can lead to a prolonged stretching of the hamstrings and calf muscles with consequent soreness and fatigue.

It is therefore better to allocate the bed and sofa to sleep and relaxation.

Mobilizes neck and shoulders

Maintaining joint mobility and good flexibility and elasticity of muscles and tendons are fundamental requirements in sedentary jobs, even more so if not compensated for by minimal daily motor activity.

Let’s think, for example, of all those actions that we perform less frequently, such as taking a box on the top shelf or wearing a coat, gestures that can cause discomfort, especially in the presence of a weakness in the muscles responsible for these movements.

Given the fact that carrying out adequate physical activity during the day is essential to keep the muscles toned and active, to begin with, it may be useful to dedicate a few moments to active cervical and shoulder mobilization, such as those suggested below.

  • In an upright position, with the shoulders relaxed, tilt the head to the right and left, maintaining the stability of the trunk and without making accessory movements; do the same by performing the movement in right and left rotation, paying attention to the trunk, which must remain stationary.
  • With a light water bottle, create a large circle with your arms outstretched and outstretched both clockwise and counterclockwise, which is useful for developing good motor control; to facilitate this, place your hands on your shoulders and perform the same circular motion in both directions.

It should be remembered that, to be effective, the mobilization exercises must work on the entire range of motion and those of stretching require maintaining the position for about 20/30 seconds. If there are any discomfort during the execution, it is not recommended to go and trigger the symptom, but it is better to find a more simplified alternative, by using a stick or a stable support such as a wall or table.

Finally, as regards aerobic activity, we must not forget to include in the daily routine a brisk walk, a run or exercise bike sessions at home lasting at least 30 minutes.

Exercises from the video

In addition to being a work surface for PCs and devices, the desk is also a useful support for performing a series of exercises that can help maintain good mobility and flexibility of the joints in the cervical area and arms, which are particularly involved and stressed during the working day of the smartworker.

  • Exercise 1

Shoulder rotation with elbow resting on the desk (without / with weight).

  • Exercise 2

Shoulder pull with opposite forearm resting on the desk (with weight).

  • Exercise 3

Standing forearm flexor stretch with palm resting on desk.

  • Exercise 4

Increased pronosupination with forearm supported and hand off the desk.

  • Exercise 5

Reinforcement of the forearm muscles with rubber bands.

Carving out a few minutes during the day to perform these exercises can help prevent localized pain and tension.

by Andrea Genta, Physiotherapist

Category: Welfare
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