How to Relieve 4 Office Aches and Pains
Sitting for hours on end every day at the office is one of modern society’s many perpetrators of pain, putting a strain on your body and wreaking havoc on your wellness at work! The FizzUp trainer tells you four ways you can fight aches and pains while on the job.
1 | LOWER-BACK PAIN
We’ve all been there, but sitting for hours and hours can lead to tight muscles and back pain. What a nightmare! Whether it’s a pinch every now and then or ongoing pain, an achy back makes everyday life tough and work almost impossible. Poor posture is a sign of spinal misalignment, which puts excess pressure on your ligaments and back muscles and leads to tension and pain that only intensifies many other posture problems. It’s a vicious circle!
FizzUp trainer’s tip: Get up and get moving! If you have time, walk around for 5 minutes every 30 to 45 minutes that you spend sitting. Something else you can do to fight muscle tension is to stretch for a few minutes every day. While you sit, simply rocking your hips back and forth can help. Round your back to tilt your hips back. This is one way to help relieve the muscles in your lower back.
It’s also important to sit right! Sit up straight as if there were a string attached to the top of your head that’s pulling you toward the ceiling to help you sit up straight. Remember to keep your back pressed to the back of your chair and if there’s any space, you can use a lumbar pillow to keep you from slipping back into a poor posture. Make sure your feet are both flat on the floor and that your thighs are parallel to the floor. And last but not least, making core-strengthening and abs exercises part of your workout routine two to three times a week will fortify your abdominal wall to soothe your back and make it easier to maintain a healthy posture.
2 | WRIST PAIN
Spending your days hitting a keyboard can lead to wrist pain, which can turn into a serious problem if you don’t do anything about it. In this case, it’s a combination of overusing your wrists and the way you place them on your keyboard that’s to blame. Every time you use your keyboard or mouse, your tendons that run parallel to each other slide forward and backward, creating friction that can lead to micro trauma. If these movements are repeated over time, they wear out the tendons and can cause inflammation. Another part of poor posture you should pay attention to is rounded shoulders. This position eventually decreases blood flow, including the blood flow in your hands, which causes pain or a tingling sensation and numbness.
FizzUp trainer’s tip: Try a simple stretch in the praying position. Place your palms together and against your chest as if to pray, with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Keep your hands and elbows still as you lower just your palms until you feel a deep stretch in your wrists. Hold this position for five seconds, then repeat the stretch four or five more times. When you use a keyboard or a mouse, make sure your wrists are “floating” horizontally in the air and not above your hands.
3 | A TENSE NECK
You’ll never realize just how much you move your neck until it’s stiff, and when that happens, you feel the pain every time you change positions or twist it. But the pain could also come from the fact that your keyboard or computer screen is too far away from you. This leaves you looking like a hunchback with your head and shoulders slumped forward!
FizzUp trainer’s tip: Stretching and strength training can help you soothe neck and shoulder stiffness. Here’s a stretch you can do anytime, anywhere: tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder as you let your left arm hang heavy at your side to intensify the stretch. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat it on the left side. Alternate sides up to four times. Next, you can place your computer screen right in front of your face so that you don’t have to look up or down at it, because this puts your neck in an uncomfortable position. If you’re on the phone more often than not, use a headset instead of holding the receiver between your ear and shoulder for several minutes. Doing so can lead to painful muscle tension.
4 | STIFF HIPS
Sitting for most of your day shortens your hip flexors. If this happens for an extended period of time, your hip flexors can become stiff, causing intense pain in these muscles located in front of your hips and in your back.
FizzUp trainer’s tip: Try doing a stretch to release tension in your hip flexors. For instance, you can get on your left knee as if you were about to propose and place your right foot in front of you with your right knee bent at a 90° angle. You’re now in the lunge position with your back knee on the floor. From this position, keep your knee bent as you move your front foot forward as far as you can and try to push your hips forward without moving your torso. You should feel a deep stretch in your hips. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat the stretch two to three times on each side.
What’s the best long-term solution to office aches and pains? Getting up from your desk regularly to give your muscles a break and increase your blood flow, of course! Ideally, get up from your desk every 20 to 30 minutes… your body was made for moving!