We all know that pain is one of the most debilitating and stressful factors us, as adults can suffer with. Headaches, neck and back pain are some of the worst ailments adults suffer with after long days at the office.
For the general person, most of his day is spent sitting at a desk behind a computer screen, with the rest of the time holding onto a steering wheel or collapsed on to a couch.
Over time this affects the way we hold our bodies and plays a negative role with posture. Our comfortable sitting posture usually has our shoulders rounding forward and neck slanting forward as we look down at the computer or at the road ahead. This can start to form what we call a “kyphotic” or round shoulder look.
This constant upper body stress also happens to be one of the main causes for neck and upper back tension which ultimately becomes a common cause for headaches, back pain and lack of sleep.
Here are some SIMPLE but EFFECTIVE exercises and stretches you can do at your desk daily to prevent the build up of tension which causes these symptoms:
All exercises to be done sitting down on a chair.
1. Curl and release– sitting with neutral pelvis on chair curl pelvis forward and round back into a C shape. Then reverse into and arch and stick chest out. This is to mobilize spinal chord.
2. Core activation– sit in centre of chair. Activate into CORE (transverse abdominus) and lift one leg up at a time without moving back. To advance try lift both legs in air.
3. Rotation – spinal rotations. Place hand on outside of knee while top hand reaches for the back of the chair as the upper body rotates. Feel the stretch and release in to the lower back.
4. Hip and glute stretch– place foot on thigh and bend forward pushing knee down. This opens up hips and stretches Into gluten medium where we store alot of stress.
5. Seated hamstring stretch– loose hamstrings= limber spine. Pelvis will be in perfect position when hamstrings are balanced between strength and flexibility. Stretch legs ahead and dig heels into floor. Reach forward down your legs to feel stretch.
6. Shrugs forward and back– arms straight ahead of you with palms facing each other. Move arms forward to touch finger tips then shrug back to squeeze upper back.
7. Upper back stretch – lie forward on lap holding chair. Then lift head and squeeze upper back to feel stretch.
Extended upper back stretch coming higher up holding chair behind you. Stick chest out and look up to open neck line.
8. Lat opening and triceps stretch– hold elbow above head to stretch triceps and bend over to open up the lats.
9. Carpel tunnel prevention: Stretch fore arms. Pull finger tips to ceiling and then down to floor with arm straight ahead of you.
10. Neck release– hold shoulder and look to hand and forward again. Open up the scalenes of the neck.
11. Neck stretch– head side with hand flexed at side to make it neural. Then head to chest.
All of these can be done daily with ease.
Always work slowly and smoothly to prevent shocking the back and neck and soon that body should adjust to feel limber and wonderful.