Beat Back Pain at Work: 5 Exercises for Your Desk
PNB MetLife 19-05-2016 11:55:19 AM
An average office worker sits for about 10 hours a day. This includes time spent at a desk, often hunched over reading emails and typing, as well as sitting down for meals and relaxing after work watching TV or browsing the Internet.
As you might expect, all that chair and computer time isn't doing us any favours. In fact desk-bound workers often struggle with pain in their lower backs, upper shoulders and necks, not to mention achy forearms and wrists as well as slipped disc problems.
Beyond the aches and pains that come with bad posture and less-than-ergonomic desk setups, simply spending hours upon hours sitting can have a long-term negative impact on your health. Research reveals that too much sedentary time significantly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and can even shorten your life span. A sustained healthy living should be your priority, as a good health is better than any health insurance.
Techniques against Back Pain
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help prevent pain related to office work. The following five exercises can be done at or near any office desk to break up sitting time, improve your posture, and lessen pain.
- The monster walk.
This isn't as scary as it sounds — it's simply walking with exaggerated arm swings and extra-long strides for five to ten seconds at a time. That way you will get blood moving through your legs and body as well as break up your chair time.
- A simple squat.
Stand up from your chair and squat down. Push your backside out and make sure your knees don't bend past the tips of your toes. Hold the position for two seconds and then stand up, doing three repeats. As our physiology changes when we sit, we can reset our metabolism by just moving more. Squats also help build your lower body strength.
- Hamstring curls.
Begin by standing up straight — you can hold onto the edge of your desk or chair for balance if necessary. Squeeze your buttocks together and bring one heel toward your buttock without using your hand. Hold it for three seconds each, and do three repeats on each side. Sitting can cause your hamstrings to weaken, causing back pain.
- The field goal.
Stand with your heels, hips, back and head against a wall. Hold you arms at a 90-degree angle pointing upward and place upper arms, backs of forearms, and backs of hands as flat as possible against wall. Press your elbows and hands into the wall. Do three repeats. This exercise is an attempt to reverse the hunched slouched-back position you may be in most of the day. This exercise will correct your position.
- Desk plank.
Stand up and place your forearms or hands on the edge of your desk. Tighten your abs and then step a foot or two away from your desk, keeping your body straight (no back-sagging) at an incline. Hold for three counts and do three repeats. This exercise will build some core strength, which can help to alleviate back pain. You can also plank with straight arms for a more challenging version of this exercise.
In total, these exercises take a few minutes. Read explains that these five movements aren't meant to be a workout — you shouldn't break a sweat or get out of breath. They’re also not a replacement for proper ergonomic equipment, but overall they can be a helpful tool in alleviating desk work-related pain and get you out of your chair on a regular basis.
Doing these exercises on a regular basis will help you to maintain your healthy living and prevent you from slipped disc issues and back pain. Back related problems are not to taken lightly, as they can affect your health insurance and quality of life heavily.