The human body wasn't meant to be confined to a chair 8 or more hours a day. If you get headaches, tension, or you're like me and you have trouble with RSI, it's recommended that you take frequent breaks throughout the day and get the blood flowing. That can be hard when you're working in an office setting, though.
Here's a few exercises you can do at your desk from the book I always recommend to people having hand or wrist problems, It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! RSI Theory & Therapy for Computer Professionals (all exercises can be performed without getting out of your chair):
- If you have lower back pain, or that area gets tense during prolonged sitting, try some pelvic tilts: roll "your pelvic area backward as if flattening your lower back against your chair, then back to the neutral position."
- Do shoulder shrugs and shoulder circles.
- Stretch your wrists and fingers often.
- Move your feet to get blood flowing down there by doing marching motions, kicking, and raising and lowering your heels (ankle pumps).
- Stretch your head, neck, and upper back, and roll your head in circles.
- Stretch your chest muscles by holding your hands behind your chair.
- Do nerve glides. (These are hard to explain--and you don't want me to try and draw stick figures--but the book goes into detail on how to do them and their benefits.)