Ergonomics in the workplace. For those who sit at a desk all day, neck and back stiffness is all too common. It might be surprising, but I treat more people with sedentary jobs than those who have more physically demanding jobs. The reason is that our bodies are made for and respond best to movement. Too little movement can cause stiffness, weakness, and many other movement dysfunctions. While it’s easy to say just keep good posture, the reality is that it is almost impossible to keep good posture all of the time. It’s more important to not stay in any posture for too long. To keep healthy while at work, you’ve got to keep it moving.
Here are some tips to break up the static postures that can make you stiff by the end of the day:
Grasp a Nerf ball or stress ball in your hand. Squeeze 5 times holding for 5 seconds, repeat with other hand.
Holding a resistance band in front of you with each hand, squeeze your shoulders back stretching the band. Hold 5 seconds, repeat 10 times.
Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, lean forward over the crossed leg. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat 4 times. Repeat on the other side.
Press your head into the back of the chair. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
Sit tall on the edge of your chair with your feet spread apart, rock your knees in and out 30 times.
Sit forward on the chair and arch your low back, while reaching your arms overhead. Hold 5 seconds then allow your back to slump. Repeat 10 times.
Sit back in chair, grasp hands behind head (like a crunch) and lean backward stretching over the back of your chair. Hold for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times.
We all develop habitual postures for how we sit, stand, and move. For people who sit behind a desk it is key to find ways to keep moving, shift your posture, and change the load on your body. The worst thing you can do is remain in a static position for too long. It’s like bending your finger back as far as it will go. It doesn’t hurt right away, but if you keep it there for 60 seconds, it will hurt. Improve your office ergonomics. Take breaks to stand up and stretch. Stretch in any direction that feels good. Don’t let your workplace ergonomics ruin your day. Try these tips to feel your best at the end of the day.
For more information on ergonomics in the workplace please contact us at 504 841 0150.