Your neck needs a rest – exercises for the home office

What about your neck?

It’s unbelievable: just a 45 degree downwards tilt of your head towards your mobile phone display strains your neck with 25 kg. Every day your spine has to bear this weight for many hours.

More than 30% of people between 14 and 18 years of age already suffer from the „mobile phone neck“ syndrome. Therefore, you should spend time on stretching and mobilizing your neck. Especially now, when we spend even more time sitting in front of the screen because that’s also become the way we can meet our friends and family during the pandemic. 

So, if you have 4 minutes right now, you could take a first look at a really experienced yoga teacher who introduces you to a few simple but very effective movements for your neck. If you want to skip the introduction, go right to minute no. 4 of the video and follow the instructions.

If you want to establish a somewhat regular and easy practice to relax your neck every once in a while during your working hours, you can also follow the instructions below. These exercises can be done while you remain seated at your desk. They will help you to stretch your muscles and also improve your oxygen intake and thus your brain performance. Whenever you stretch, your breathing will automatically become deeper and more intense. Your brain needs fresh air for new thoughts, so deepening your breathing has more than one nice little side effect!

So let’s do it!


Simple stretching exercises:

1.       Sit in a straight position. Place one hand on the right temple and apply light pressure. At the same time press your head against the palm of the hand. Hold tension for a short time, then change sides. Afterwards, place your hand on the forehead and press your head against the hand. Finally, place your hand on the back of your head and apply light pressure here as well.  

2.       Cross your hands behind your head. Place your chin on the chest. Bring your elbows closer together. Inhale and exhale slowly. Go back to the starting position. Repeat.

3.       Move your head gently from the center towards the right shoulder, then towards the left shoulder. Keep your neck long. Then drop your chin towards your chest.


Almost all neck problems have to do with muscle tension caused by one-sided movements. Therefore, good pain prophylaxis are frequent changes in your sitting position, getting up from the chair, stretching your arms, walking a few steps and moving your spine.


We have learned through lots of research over the past decades  how closely related pain and tension in the neck and shoulders are to our level of personal stress. Stress hormones make you ready: fight or flight? Your body produces stress hormones to enable immediate intense reactions to supposedly deadly threats. This is a great mechanism in our bodies which originates in the very old times when we had to flee from predators and other life threatening species. Moving fast needs muscle tension – so whenever our nervous systems gets a signal which causes emotional or cognitive stress, our muscles get ready. Nowadays sitting on our office chair the amount of flight or fight hormones produced by our inner alarm system does not equal the energy needed to handle the situation. This results in high muscle tension which gets not transferred into healthy fast movements as was originally intended in our body system. So we build up tension in our muscles to protect us from evil, but reality shows that this tension never really gets used and transferred into a healthy amount of movement. Constant tension in our muscular initiated by daily stress signals thus leads to neck and back pains on the long run. We need to move our body to get rid of the unused hormonal drugs. Otherwise constantly tensed up muscles may even contribute to slipped discs and heavy back pains.

So let’s look at today’s intervention to get you ready to cope even better with the steady incoming flow of stress signals.