Seeing as our current situation has changed once again with more of us having to work from home, I though what better subject to talk about than how to ease and prevent desk related pain issues.
Long hours in front of a computer means long hours of sitting. Stiffness around your neck and shoulders as well as discomfort in your wrist and forearms are some of the early signs of Musculoskeletal disorders you can develop by sitting on a desk for a prolonged time.
Remember the basics!
1. Eat healthy and stay hydrated
Dehydration of the muscle and tendon is a primary cause of muscle fatigue, strains and tendonitis. Generally, about 2L per day. Be aware that you body can only absorb about 500ml per hour. Make sure you drink that amount throughout the whole day.
2. Get enough rest and sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, increased release of stress hormones rises the level of inflammation in the body.
3. Set up your workspace
The desk space should allow you to keep your joints and spine in a neutral position.
4. Take little breaks
Even though you might have the perfect desk setup and posture you still need to move regularly. Get yourself a drink or do those easy-to-follow exercises no matter the size of your workspace. This includes your office at home, your desk at the office or even your kitchen table (if that’s the chosen work spot for you on this day).
· Eye Exercises
Sit up straight, face forward and repeat the following sequence several times without moving your head:
Look up, then down
Look left, then right
· Neck Stretch
Keeping your chin tucked in, gently lower ear to shoulder and hold for 10 seconds on each side. Repeat several times
· Head Turns
Turn head slowly to look over your left shoulder. Turn your head slowly to look over your right shoulder. Repeat several times
· Chin Tucks
Raise your head to straighten the neck. Tuck the chin in and upwards creating a double chin. This also results in a forward head tilt. Repeat several times.
· Side stretch
Rise both arms to the ceiling and grab you left wrist with your right hand and take a deep breath in. on your breath out your right hand gently pulls on the left arm while you bent to your right. Stretch each side 3-5 times.
· Foot Pump
Stand up, holding the chair for balance and alternately raise heels and toes. Repeat 10 times
5.Prevention is better than cure
It doesn’t matter if you prefer gentle Yoga or rigorous exercise - Stay active when not working!
Also, regular soft tissue release, targeted stretching and exercise are the best ways to prevent and manage Musculoskeletal disorders. These days you find a huge variety of exercises on social media. But remember, not all of them are scientifically proven and they may not be suitable for you. It is always better to check with a professional first.
If you have ongoing neck issues, seek help from a health professional for a diagnosis and plan of action.