- Work sitting down most of the week?
- Back and/or neck hurts at the end of the day?
- Work station is not very ergonomic?
- Bad posture that gets worse as the day goes by?
There are many of us who can relate to some or all of the above statements. Working in a stationary, sitting position for most of the week can be a factor to accumulating stress and tension in many of the body's muscles.
If not taken care of, continuous accumulation can develop into more serious muscle dysfunction and imbalances. Once these imbalances have anchored in the body, it takes much more efforts to reverse the process.
Now, all is not lost, there are many things that can be done to help prevent and improve this. However there is nothing miraculous and it will take time and effort.
Here are a few tips that can help at home or at the office:
- Set a timer for every 30 minutes. Get up off your chair and take a moment to correct bad posture or while up, get a glass of water, you might not be drinking enough through the day.
- When waking up in the morning and before going to bed, do a small stretching routine. If possible stretch a few times at work as well.
- Practice proper breathing especially when having a stressful day or moment.
Here are some easy stretches that can be done in the office as much as the comfort of your home. These stretches will help with bad posture and muscle imbalances:
Pectoral stretch in corner of wall with arms at 90 degrees. Forearms are touching wall.
Forearm flexor and extensor stretch
Rhomboids and traps stretch, sitting with arms crossed under legs. Neck and back relaxed. Bring spine up towards the ceiling while keeping neck relaxed and arms under legs
Sitting with arms crossed between legs holding chair. Lean back with neck relaxed.
Ideally hold all stretches for 30 to 60 seconds and do them 3 times in a row. You want to feel the stretch, however it should not be painful. If there is pain while doing any of the stretches, stop immediately.
Applying heat to tense muscle can also provide some relief.
With regular stretching and good posture combined with an active lifestyle outside of work you can maintain good muscle health.
Consistency is key to starting a small routine at work but when stretching just isn't enough to maintain your tension, you should definitely consider a therapeutic massage to help you along your way.
Massage therapist and Kinesitherapist.