We seem to spend even more time at our desks these days, not just at work but social networking; all of which have us hunched over our computers for hours on end and likely to result in stiff backs, neck, shoulder pain and perhaps headaches too. Even if you have taken steps with regards to ergonomics, ie your chair, desk, computer screen, the fact you remain in one position and immobile for long periods of time can create problems.
- Step 1 Take action to improve your posture
- Step 2 Mobilize (Move)
Back, Shoulder & Neck Exercises to Keep You Moving
Think about practising the following movements/stretches at least once per hour preferably every half hour!
- Get up and move – make an excuse visit the photocopier! Put your printer at the other end of the room!
- Relieving lower back stiffness/tension: Sit forward in your seat with the natural curves of the spine, keeping neck and shoulders still tilt your pelvis forward ie pubic bone up to the ceiling (sink tuck roll) and then return to the start position repeat 10 times
- Relieving upper back tension: Reach your arms forward interlink your fingers (palms facing you) soften your elbows and feel the stretch across your upper back, then turn your hands away from you, drop the chin towards the chest, keep the shoulders relaxed
- Relieving shoulder and neck tension:
- Chest: Arms out in front of you, palms up to the ceiling, open the arms out and up in a V-shape to the sky, nice and strong! – Turn your head to the right hold for 5 then left hold for 5 repeat each side. Feel the chest opening
- Shoulder: Extend your right arm across your chest and hold it with your left hand just above the elbow ie the fleshy part of the arm hold for 10 seconds repeat on the other side and once more on each side
- Jut your chin forwards and then draw it back towards you thinking about ears over shoulders feel the neck muscles lengthen
- Then lower your chin towards your chest and slowly lift it – repeat a few times
- Sitting tall at your desk drop your right shoulder towards the floor as you tilt your head to the left ie left ear to left shoulder – feel the stretch on the right side of the neck- hold for 5 seconds – repeat on the other side and twice more on each side
For an excellent set of stretches that you can do in the office (plus more that you can do at home), take a look at Bob Anderson’s book (see below).