If you find yourself sitting at your desk feeling achy, sore and bent over follow these 3 simple steps to help improve and protect your posture, reduce neck and shoulder tension.
It’s very simple; you have got yourself into a bad habit of sitting at your deck incorrectly! Well, with some organisation and a positive attitude you can turn it into a good habit. These days’ time really is of the essence, and we want to save time by having everything close to hand. Yes, this may make us more efficient in what we are doing at the time but long term the damage we are doing can cause a lot of discomfort, pain and sometimes the damage is irreversible.
Here are my three top tips to help you on your way…
1. Set yourself up correctly
I am currently treating a client for chronic upper neck and shoulder tension. John has been working at a desk for over 20 years now and prides himself on how efficient he is. His work is very demanding and it’s expected that he puts long hours in and there are days he eats at his desk! Sound familiar? Ok, so I’m not suggesting for one minute that you become less efficient at what you do, just smarter! If you are more comfortable at your desk you will be able to concentrate and work more efficiently. Try to arrange your desk so that you use your left and right arms equally where possible.
For example; John is right handed so EVERYTHING was on the right side of his desk and his printer was on the left. Yet he couldn’t understand why his shoulders were up around his ears and he has a constant pain in his left shoulder?! Repetitive strain is very common and comes from a repetitive movement! If you think about how long you spend at your desk and how many times a week you repeat the same action it’s easy to see how strain occurs.
2. Move around and stand when you can
There is a lot of talk about standing desks recently. Many clients have asked me should I sit or stand if I have the choice. I believe where you can, do both. When a standing desk has been installed it should be measured specifically for your height and specific to you. Depending on the style some can be adjusted as and when you need to stand. If you don’t have a standing desk and it’s not an option get up and take regular breaks. Not always possible I know ,but where you can get up and walk to the printer, go and speak to that colleague (instead of e mailing), go for a 5-10 minute walk on your lunch. Peel the phone away from your ear and take the steps.
When you are sitting, your arms should be resting parallel to the floor, your legs should be in the same position and your feet should still be flat. Your back should be against the chair, and your shoulders should be back (but not lifted or hunched). If a headpiece is possible for your phone use that as it will save you wedging the phone between your shoulder and ear.
3. Re -Jig your thinking – It should be part of your health regime
Use regular massage & bodywork as a preventative rather than a cure. All too often we wait until we are in pain and its having an effect on our lives before we go to see a physical/Sports Therapist specialising in soft tissue work. Research has shown that regular work improves muscle tone, increases flexibility and as a result nips problems in the bud before they become chronic, not to mention the affects it has on the nervous system. I often hear people saying I’m in bit’s but I don’t have the time to go for a session, well the reality is that your body will decide when it’s had enough and stop you in your tracks, and it really won’t matter whether you have the time or not!
Companies are now investing in employee health and wellness and it’s fantastic to see. I love getting the call to go into a company for corporate chair massage. It’s amazing what 15 minutes can do for the mind let alone those aching shoulders.
A monthly session with me in the clinic will cost as little as €1.98 a day, (That’s less than a cup of coffee). We all spend money including myself on things we don’t need or want! You only have one body, look after it well and it will look after you.
For further details and a full portfolio of what it is that I do and how I can help log on to www.familymassage.ie
I work from my clinic in Rathfarnham on Mondays and Fridays by appointment and mobile for the rest of the week for your convenience.
Looking forward to hearing from you, Toni