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Sitting at a desk or computer terminal for extended periods of time can cause muscular tension and pain. Frequent short stretch breaks can reduce tension, head and muscle aches, and increase productivity and make work a more pleasant place to be. Take a short stretch break 30 minutes or so. And remember the 20/20 rule. Take your eyes off of your computer screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Focus on an object far from the computer screen.
Always begin a stretch from an aligned body position. Imagine there is an eye-bolt attached to the top of your skull and your body is hanging from it. Now relax. Breath rhythmically. Never hold your breath. Stretch slowly without bouncing. You should feel a slight, easy stretch. Hold this feeling for 5-20 seconds. The feeling of tension should diminish as you hold the stretch. If it doesn't, just ease off slightly into a more comfortable stretch. After holding the stretch for a few seconds, you can move a fraction of an inch farther into the stretch until you feel the mild tension again. Hold that stretch for 10-15 seconds. The feeling of stretch tension should diminish as you hold the stretch. (If the tension increases or becomes painful you are over-stretching. Ease off a bit to a more comfortable stretch.) Continuing to increase the stretch in small increments over time without pain will reduce tension and safely increase flexibility. Remember your flexibility will vary from day to day and stretch to stretch. Hold only stretch tensions that feel good to you. The key to stretching is to be relaxed while you concentrate on the area being stretched. Your breathing should be slow, deep and rhythmic. Don't worry about how far you can stretch. Stretch until you are relaxed. If you do these exercises regularly you should notice greater flexibility over time.
**Note: If you have had any recent surgery, muscle, or joint problem, please consult your personal health care professional before starting any stretching or exercise program.
Caution: If you hear clicking or popping noises when opening your mouth, check with your dentist before doing this stretch.