Stretching Routines for Artists & Designers

We’ve got to stay healthy so we can do what we love. But working on a computer can bring its share of health challenges. My natural tendency is to get engrossed in what I’m working on and stay seated for hours at a time. Over the last few years as a freelance artist, it has been crucial for me to develop a habit of frequent rest breaks and effective stretches.

For rest breaks I recommend installing a free Windows app called Workrave, which runs in the background on your PC and reminds you to take scheduled breaks. You can take microbreaks every few minutes, and longer rest breaks every hour or so. Workrave tracks the timing for you, but the hardest part is having the discipline to obey!

Stretching at the start of the workday has also been helpful; now I’m trying to increase the frequency to a few times each day. Again, discipline is a common challenge. I was happy to find some video stretch routines from SmartStretch. If you’re a daydreamer like me, having a guided video reference might be helpful for keeping focused and making the most of the brief stretching break.

This set of videos totals 16 minutes. It’s also available as a stretching playlist on YouTube that makes it easy to do the whole routine without interruption. Enjoy!

Shoulder Stretches

4 minutes for both videos, repeat for each side

Neck Stretches

2 minutes (longer version also available)

Hand & Wrist Stretches

3 minutes, repeat for each hand

How about you? How do you stay healthy in the digital age?


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