How to limit stress on your body at work
Work is usually the place we spend most of our time during the week, and as a result musculoskeletal pain or problems, which are made worse by these tasks can become quite a big problem.
Sitting for long periods of time is undoubtedly the most common posture that causes pain and/or discomfort in our lower back pain patients, and when you have an office job that is desk-based, you don’t have as much opportunity to walk and move around throughout the day.
If you count yourself amongst those who have office jobs, the list below outlines some effective ideas.
Frequent ‘stand and move’ breaks
We recommend standing up out of your work chair and taking a short walk every 30-45mins. This helps prevent pain and/or stiffness, improves your concentration levels, and allows time to do a quick routine of stretches.
Even someone with terrific posture will be bending at their lower back when sitting, which puts more stress on the discs and joints. The reset stretch helps relieve these structures by moving the back in the opposite direction.
- Place both hands on lower back, lean hips forward and hold for 15 seconds
Standing Thoracic Rotations
- Hands clasped together, swing your upper body and shoulders side to side 10x
- Reach right hand down outside of right leg to the knee, then do left side, hold for 10 seconds each
- Turn head left and right 3x, look to the ceiling for 10 seconds, lift and roll your shoulders back 5x
In addition to the stretches, here are some other practical tips and ideas
- Take stairs instead of the lift.
- Stand while taking phone calls.
- Drink water from a cup so you have to get up to refill throughout the day.
- Walk to colleague’s desk to talk instead of emailing.
- Regularly rest your eyes from screen time.
- Walk outside for your lunch break.
If you find yourself developing persistent or worsening back or neck pain, book an appointment to see a physio or health professional.