Easy Ways to Keep Active at Work
3 different ways to avoid pain and keep happy and active while working or studying.
Many of us struggle with pain and bad posture associated with long hours at the computer or desk. We’ve put together some things you can do to
Exercises for Neck Pain while working or studying *
As simple as it may be, taking 5 minutes to get your neck and shoulders moving while sitting at your desk can make all the difference to your neck pain and help you improve your focus.
- Neck Rolls
- Imagine drawing a large full circle with your head; dropping it all the way to your chest and looking all the way up toward the ceiling. Move slowly and gently. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
- Shoulder Rolls
- Imagine drawing a large full circle with your shoulders; lifting them up and forward then down and back – squeezing your shoulder blades together. Move slowly and gently. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
- Trap Stretch
- Place one hand under your hip on that side; lean away from that hand until you feel a stretch along the top of your shoulder and side of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Chin Tuck
- Sit up straight with your shoulders back and down. Tuck your chin towards your neck without letting your head nod forward or back. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times (build up to 10 times if it is difficult).
Exercises to relieve low back pain*
If you experience low back pain after a long day sitting at the office, driving or in the classroom. Try these exercise to get the muscles and joints moving again.
- Trunk arching
- Kneel on all fours and arch your back up, hold for 5 seconds and then gently move your back down towards the ground. Hold here for 5 seconds and repeat the whole motion 10 times, moving slowly and gently.
- Knees to chest
- Lie onto your back, bring both knees toward your chest and hold behind or on top of your knees and keep your back against the floor. You may feel a stretch through your low back or buttock, if it causes pain stop. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times
- Trunk rotation
- Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and let your knees fall to one side as far as you comfortably can, hold for 10 seconds. Gently move to the other side, and repeat on each side 5 times.
- Piriformis stretch
- Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor. Place one ankle to rest on the opposite knee – if you feel a stretch through your buttock hold the stretch here for 30 seconds. If you don’t feel a stretch reach your hand through to behind you knee and pull toward your chest. Remember to keep your hips straight and low back against the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat each side twice
- Hip flexor stretch
- Kneel with one leg forward. Make sure your back is straight and you aren’t tilting forward or back. Lean forward through the kneeling leg until you feel a stretch through the front of your hip. If you don’t feel a stretch bend you kneeling knee and hold with your hand or lean it against a wall. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat each side twice
Tips to keep healthy, happy and active in the office or studying
- Get up and move around at least every hour
- It’s really important to take a break from sitting at least every hour – set a reminder on your phone or computer – you can even get a few apps which will give you reminders
- Go get a glass of water; go talk to someone rather than emailing/calling
- Stand and work when possible
- Sitting at a computer is really hard on both your neck and low back
- Standing eases the pressure through your low back and can help you look forward rather than down which will help you neck
- Sit on an exercise ball
- If you have to sit at a desk most of the day spending some of the day sitting on an exercise ball will help engage your core and glute muscles and also force you to sit up straight
- Make sure your exercise ball is low enough that you can comfortably put both feet flat on the floor
- Have walking or standing meetings
- Swap your conference room for a walk outside especially for a one on one meeting – if your need to take notes you can always record the conversation to replay later.
- If leaving the office isn’t an option have a meeting at a bench or tall table rather than sitting
- Leave your desk to eat lunch or have a coffee
- You may feel like eating lunch at your desk saves time but would getting up and taking a walk or eating outside really take up too much time? You’ll probably also come back to work or study refreshed with some new ideas or perspective after a short break.
- Take a moment for some deep breathing
- How you breathe is really important and when you spend many hours a day sitting you often forget to take deep breaths all the way into your stomach. You can take a 5 minute break and concentrate on your breathing or set a reminder every hour and take 5 deep breaths.
- Sit up straight, feet flat on the floor, take a big, deep breath into your stomach let it expand. Now let your breath all the way out and pull your stomach in towards your spine. Pause until you feel the need to take another breath.
*If these exercises or stretches cause you any pain or discomfort, stop and consult your Chiropractor
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