The area where the neck and shoulders come together is a fragile framework of muscles, bones, cartilage and ligaments. When you sit with your neck slumped over for long periods, the muscles in the neck and shoulders can become strained and pain can develop. When you get this pain, there are several stretches you can do for relief. You can do these in your office chair.
Tip your head to the side. Sit up straight and keep your gaze facing forward. Maintain a forward gaze as you lower your right ear toward down toward your right shoulder. Feel the stretch on the left side of your neck and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly lift your head back up and lower it down to your left side. Hold again for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat three or four times.
Rotate your head from side to side. Sit up straight and look forward. Turn your head to the right as far as you comfortably can and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly turn your head back around to the left side and hold again for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat three or four times.
Lower and raise your head. Start out looking straight ahead. Lower your chin toward your chest as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and lift your head back up. Keep extending your head backwards until you are looking straight up at the ceiling. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat three or four times. If you cannot get your head to go back far enough to look at the ceiling, just go as far as possible.
Reach for the sky to do an overhead stretch. Sit in a chair and look forward. Interlace your fingers and turn your palms outward. Lift your arms straight above your body so your palms are facing the ceiling. Keep reaching to get a good stretch in your shoulders. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and do three or four sets.
Roll your shoulders. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your arms at your sides. Push your shoulders forward and down, then straight up and then back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Push them down and forward again, and start over. Do this in a smooth, circular motion. Perform 10 to 12 reps going forward, then switch directions. Do three or four sets both ways.