It’s safe to say that having to wake up by excruciating neck or/and back pains are pretty common. Whether it’s caused by bad posture when sitting which can come suddenly and last for a short period, or chronic pain which can last up to months or even years, we can agree that it can make day-to-day activities much more difficult to deal with.
In many cases, neck and back pain is never caused by doing or not doing one thing. There are various known reasons to cause such pain and below are just a few examples.
- Injury or fractures
- Muscle spasm or tension
- Arthiritis or other joint problem
- Muscle tears
- Poor muscle tone
- Posture while sitting or standing
- Sleep positions
These are just a few ways to find yourself in a position where it’s almost impossible to move your entire body.
Having a job that requires you to sit in an office and in a chair all day, may not seem physically straining, but can definitely cause some form of physical pain if not positioned correctly.
So here are some tips on light exercises you can do at your desk while sitting down.
These should be done carefully and at a slow pace. They shouldn’t be painful, but if they are, you should seek medical attention.
- Facing forward, use your neck to pull your ears down to each shoulder. You should be able to feel the stretch in the upper part of your neck and shoulder. (hold for 30 seconds)
- Roll your shoulders backwards in a circular motion, do the same going forward, and repeat this ten times for each direction.
- Stretch each arm across your body at shoulder level. You should be able to feel the stretch on your upper arm as well as the back of your shoulder. (hold for 20-30 seconds)
- Stretch your arm out infront of you with your hands clasped together, stretch arms and neck forward, you should feel the stretch between your shoulder blades. (hold this stretch for 30 seconds)
- While seated, rest each ankle onto the opposite knee. Slowly lean forward. You should be able to feel the stretch in your upper thigh. (hold this stretch for 20 – 30 seconds).
How you should be positioned in your office chair:
- You should be seated in the chair as far back as possible.
- Your screen should should be as far away from you as possible while still being able to clearly see what’s on your screen.
- The mouse should be as close to your keyboard as possible.
- Try keeping your elbows close to your body while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
- Your chair should be raised so that it aligns the height of your keyboard.
A common go-to solution to prevent something like this happening, exercise and keeping fit is probably the most common solution, but realistically speaking, not everyone has the time to hit the gym thinking they MIGHT be a victim of a neck spasm if they don’t have the right posture when sitting down at their work desk. These stretches are easy to do and won’t take up too much time.