This is a guest blog post by Paulius Paškevičius, a Physiotherapist at Tesonet.
How many times have you felt the tension in your neck that turned into a headache? Or noticed your fingers suddenly getting numb? Those working in the office probably have experienced this at least a few times. We spend most of our time sitting at the desk, taking a smoke or toilet break in between. And then we’re back to sitting. But our bodies aren’t happy about that. They’re made to move, so doing the opposite naturally affects the overall health.
From tense muscles to more sports-related serious injuries, people deal with all kinds of health problems. However, back pains are, to this day, the most common complaint of those working in the office. Even research shows that the age of people experiencing their first back pain is getting younger. What used to be a problem of an older generation, is now something 25 year-olds complain about.
So what can you do about that?
Let’s stop before you say, “I should start going to the gym!”. Though the idea and enthusiasm are plausible, pumping iron won’t solve all the health problems you might be experiencing. Why? Because exercising doesn’t define the concept of a healthy person. This means that there’s more to it than just working out. Sometimes, running straight to the gym can even cause more harm than doing nothing. In often cases, people overestimate their capabilities by jumping right into a physical activity that their bodies aren’t accustomed to. Imagine that you’re sitting for 9 hours a day, your body is inactive for most of the time and then you’re forcing it to work out. It’s not prepared, going through a lot of stress, and therefore, isn’t in the best condition, to begin with.
That’s why it’s essential to spread exercising throughout the week. Not just do it for an hour or two after work (or before, if you’re an early bird), but dedicate several minutes every hour during the day to do a few simple exercises.
There are several ways to stretch out and start strengthening your muscles without even leaving your desk. Doing this simple workout will relieve that tension in your neck and shoulders from staring at the laptop, and will prevent serious back problems.
Exercise #1. Neck muscle relaxation and good posture forming.
Press your chin down as much as you can and when you reach the maximum, bend your head towards your shoulder. Hold this position for 3 seconds. Repeat this exercise with each side 5 times.
Exercise #2. Chest and back muscle relaxation.
Inhale and spread your hands to the side, by bringing shoulder blades together. Exhale when releasing the hands and hug yourself. Repeat the exercise 5 times.
Exercise #3. Thoracic back muscle relaxation and mobility increase.
Grab the opposite elbows with your hands and lean on the edge of the table. Put your head on the crossed arms. Then keep the supporting elbow on the table and lift the other one up. Maintain the position for 3 sec. Repeat this exercise with each side 5 times.
Exercise #4. Forearm muscle relaxation.
Stretch your hand at the shoulder level and turn your palm towards yourself, without lifting your shoulder. Then hold the palm with the other hand and press it towards yourself. When repeating the exercise, turn the palm from yourself. Do these two positions with both hands, holding each position for 10 seconds.
Exercise #5. Increasing back mobility and relaxation of chest muscles.
Bring your hands behind your back. Try to lift your arms up by bringing the shoulder blades together, but keep the shoulders down. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
Exercise #6. Hand muscle relaxation.
Strongly clench your fists and then quickly spread your fingers by lifting your bent arms up. Repeat these two positions 10 times, holding each position for 2 seconds.
Exercise #7. Exercise for tired eyes.
Lift your finger in front of yourself at eye level. Focus your gaze to the tip of your finger, then point it to the furthest point you can see in your environment (it’s recommended to look through the window). Do this exercise 5 times, by holding each position for 7 seconds.
By doing these exercises a few times a day and adding more serious workout sessions to your routine, you’ll be doing a favour to yourself. Being healthy requires dedication and will, but if you don’t want to be complaining about back pains to your friends all the time, maybe it’s worth giving it a shot.