Healthy Computing: Play With Your Feet

Regenerate and increase flexibility in your neck, back, and hips by changing the habitual movement patterns of your feet and toes. To decrease tension and increase flexibility Play with Your Feet.

How to Play with Your Feet:

Be sure to continue breathing diaphragmatically: relax your eyes, jaw, neck and shoulders while doing the movements. After each movement, rest for a few moments.

  • Push away from the keyboard and sit at the edge of your chair with your knees bent at right angle and your feet shoulder width apart and flat on the floor (remove high heel shoes).
  • Gently arch your head backwards by looking up and back to the farthest spot behind you on the ceiling. Remember that spot. Bring your head forward and upright. Relax and rest for a few seconds.
  • Gently slide your left foot six inches forward and then, while keeping the heel of your foot on the floor, lift the ball of your foot up (flexing the ankle) while at the same time curling your toes under. Hold for one second. Then uncurl your toes, bring the ball of your foot down and relax.
  • Gently slide your left foot six inches backward and then, while keeping the ball of your foot on the ground, lift your heel up (extending the ankle) and, at the same time, curl your toes upward. Then relax your toes, bring your heel down and relax your foot completely.
  • Continue the movements by sliding your left foot forward and lifting the ball of your foot while curling your toes under. Then let it go and relax and slide your foot backwards while lifting your heel and curling your toes upward.
  • Repeat this practice 5 or more times until the movement feels comfortable and smooth.
  • Practice the same sequence five or more times with your right foot until the movement feels smooth and comfortable.
  • Do the movements with both feet at the same time, except that as the right foot goes forward while lifting the ball of the foot and curling toes under, the left foot goes back while the heel goes up and the toes curl up.
  • After you are done with both feet, let them be relaxed on the floor with your knees bent at about 90 degrees. Then gently arch your head backwards by looking up and back to the farthest spot behind you on the ceiling. Observe how much further you could look back. Return your head forward, and notice the looseness and freedom in the movement of your neck and head.

(This tip was adapted from a demonstration by Dr. Brad Bennett.)

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Erik Peper PhD Written by Erik Peper PhD

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