With the addition of our new work ergonomic station, I thought it would be helpful to introduce a related series in the JFPT newsletter, informing our readers and patients on how to improve our work environments. We hope to clear up some misconceptions, introduce you to some new habits and make some all important changes to your work station and work day, all of which will make for a more productive and fruitful day…and hopefully a happier you!
We’ve all been caught sitting in front of the computer screen a bit too long (btw- any longer than 30 minutes is too long!). Studies have shown that there isn’t necessarily one “best” position for people to sit or stand in to avoid aggravating that neck or back pain. The key to overall better health is a mix of all the postures: sitting, standing and walking.1
Here are three quick stretches that you can do in your office (under 5 minutes) that will help you to breathe, de-stress, improve your posture and most importantly, get you out of that chair!
Stand up tall with your back up against the wall, arms by your sides, palms facing forward. Drop your chin down slightly so the back of your neck is long. Your feet should be hip width apart, knees slightly bent and tailbone dropped down so you’re not too arched in your low back.
Slowly lift both arms up by your sides and toward your head. Only lift them as high as you can without pain and without lifting the shoulders to your ears. Avoid tension in your neck muscles. Slowly lower them back down to your sides. Keep your arms touching the wall the entire way up and down.
Make sure that the neck, trunk and low back remain in neutral.
Repeat 10 times.
Corner Pec Stretch
Stand in front of a wall corner and place one arm on each wall.
Have your elbows bent to 90° and draw your shoulder blades down your back. Lean forward into the corner of the wall until you feel a comfortable stretch across your chest. Hold the stretch for the 30 seconds.
Shoulder External Rotation
Stand up or sit up straight. Tuck your elbows in by your sides and position your forearms at 90 degrees to your upper arms. Your palms face up to the ceiling. Draw your shoulder blades together and down. While inhaling, move your hands away from each other. Keep your elbows tucked-in by your sides. While exhaling, return to initial position and repeat ten times.
1 Pronk NP, Katz AS, Lowry M, Payfer JR. Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, 2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110323
Images contributed by: Physiotec