10 Exercises To Do At Your Desk To Prevent Back Pain
Ask any professional who is in the pain management business, and they’ll tell you that back pain is almost as inevitable as paying taxes. Being the only creature to walk upright may have given us advantages, but it’s also made our backs vulnerable.
Modern living doesn’t make things any easier for our spines and the muscles that support them. Sitting all day is certainly not a natural state of affairs, and the body prefers way more variety and movement than the average desk job allows. The result is back pain – but if your desk job is quite literally a pain, there are a few things you can do right at your desk to prevent and relieve back pain.
1. Stand Up, Sit Down
The very fact that you’re in a seated position all day is part of the backache problem. Simply stand up and sit down to break the cycle. Don’t use your hands to help you. Do it every few minutes during activities like phone calls, and most people won’t even notice.
2. Be on the Ball
Ask your office manager if you can sit on an exercise ball at work. If you’re the boss – just go ahead! Staying “on the ball” isn’t strenuous, but it engages your core muscles and helps you to maintain good posture throughout the day.
Although you probably shouldn’t shrug when the boss asks you for that report you’re working on, feel free to shrug deeply to loosen your shoulders up. Sit up straight and inhale while drawing your shoulders up. Hold, and then let them drop back downwards. Three repeats should make a difference.
4. Slow Nods and Head Shakes
Do you wish it were five o clock? Nod all the way up and down using a slow, controlled movement.
Oh come on, don’t you want to work overtime? Shake your head slowly all the way from side to side.
5. Torso Twists
There are a lot of different ways to do torso twists at your desk The most important thing to remember is that the movement should be slow and controlled. Twisting your body suddenly can cause an injury when your muscles aren’t warmed up. Once you’ve twisted to one side, hold your position before slowly turning back.
6. Cross your Arms
Cross your arms over your chest with your hands resting on your shoulders. Sit up straight and breathe deeply. This can help to relieve tension between the shoulder blades.
7. Stretch Across
Reach out straight in front of you. Place your other hand on your elbow and stretch it across your body at chest height. Hold the position for a few seconds before releasing – great for unknotting cramped shoulders.
8. Stretch Straight Up
Sit up straight and reach for the sky. Interlace your fingers above your head and stretch it out. While you’re at it, look up at the ceiling and give your neck and shoulders a little relief.
9. Hug Your Legs
This one comes with two caveats. You probably don’t want to do it when others are in the office, and you do want to make sure chairs with wheels are wedged firmly in place. Shift your chair back from your desk and lower your torso so that it rests on your legs. Let your arms and neck relax. Now link hands behind your legs and give them a “hug.”
10. Make like a Butterfly
Place your left hand on your left shoulder and your right hand on your right shoulder. Now bring your elbows together in front of you. Then flex them back. Hold the forward and backward positions for a few minutes each.
Do You Need More Help With Your Back Pain?
Back pain shouldn’t be a constant misery. If you have persistent back pain it makes sense to track down its cause and deal with it. If you need help with back pain, call us for an appointment, there’s a good chance we’ll be able to help you.