Worker Well-Being – Simple Exercises to Relieve Tension



Shrug your shoulders — to release the neck and shoulders

  1. Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.
  2. Shake your head slowly, yes and no.


Loosen the hands with air circles

  1. Clench both fists, stretching both hands out in front of you.
  2. Make circles in the air, first in one direction, to the count of ten.
  3. Then reverse the circles.
  4. Shake out the hands.


Stretch your back with a “big hug”

  1. Hug your body, placing the right hand on your left shoulder and the left hand on your right shoulder.
  2. Breathe in and out, releasing the area between your shoulder blades.


Cross your arms — for the shoulders and upper back

  1. Extend one arm out straight in front of you. With the other hand, grab the elbow of the outstretched arm and pull it across your chest, stretching your shoulder and upper back muscles.
  2. Release.
  3. Stretch out the other arm in front of you — repeat.


Look up to release upper body

  1. Sit up tall in your chair, or stand up. Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers.
  2. Turn the palms to the ceiling as you lift your chin up, tilt your head back, and gaze up at the ceiling, too.
  3. Inhale, exhale, release.


Substitute walks for email

Instead of emailing a colleague walk over to the colleague you really want to talk to.