Novel stretching and strength-building exercise recommendations for computer-based workers during the COVID-19 quarantine

Work. 2020;66(4):739-749. doi: 10.3233/WOR-203220.


Background: Prolonged home stays due to the COVID-19 quarantine can increase the use of computers and other technologies that may lead to significant reduction in activity, contributing to musculoskeletal problems, anxiety and depression.

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a novel multicomponent exercise program for individuals who work with computers during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Methods: Researchers collaborating cross-institutionally and cross-nationally performed a careful literature search for exercise and stretching regiments with particular attention to methodologies that can be applied during the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methodologies were then compiled and truncated for ease of use for the computer-based office worker during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine.

Results: The resulting program is broken down into three categories: aerobic, strengthening and stretching components. Each component can then be further modified to meet the frequency, intensity, time and type (FITT) specifications for the participant.

Conclusions: We present a novel, evidence-based strategy for functional fitness for office workers who have remained home-bound during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine. Further research should seek to validate the efficacy of the proposed protocol.

Keywords: COVID-19; Office; fitness; musculoskeletal pain; pandemic.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / pathogenicity
  • COVID-19
  • Computers
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Quarantine / standards*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Telecommunications*