Tips and Exercises for Desk Workers
By Teagan N.
As the amount of desk jobs, schoolwork done on a computer, and computers around the world increase, lower back pain and disease has grabbed the position of the leading cause of disability. When a person stands up, their spine is in its natural S-curve formation that is designed to control and hold the human body. However, when that same person sits down, those curves are altered. After prolonged time in this altered position, back pain occurs, leading up to possible damage to one’s spine. Here are some tips and exercises that one can do to help relieve the strain on one’s back.
Exercise: The next time you take a bath, try doing three sets of these chest stretches. Alternatively, you could do this standing up if you need a break from sitting. Place your hands behind your back, and clasp them together. Make sure your arms are straight and stiff. Raise your ribcage and bring back your shoulders. Hold this position for ten seconds, then relax and take a breather. While you are doing these sets, make sure to keep your arms behind your back until you have finished this particular exercise. These chest stretches will help straighten out your vertebrae. This is my adaptation of a classic chest stretch.
Tip: When you are working at a desk, make sure to stand up and stretch every 30 minutes or so. This will help prevent the alteration of the curvature of your spine, as it will make it so your back is not continuously in the same position.
Exercise: If you are currently sitting in a chair as you read this article, read these instructions and then do four sets. In a seated position, bend your back forward so your stomach is pressed against your thighs and your fingertips can touch the ground. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then return to a seated position and take a breather. This exercise will help return your back to its normal forward curve.
Tip: As you are working, make sure to bend forward in your chair instead of slouching. This will once again return your back to its natural curve. To prevent eye strain, close your eyes while keeping your head in a forward position, than re-open your eyes. If you are looking at the middle of the screen, your computer is at the right position. If you are looking at the top or bottom of the screen, re-adjust the computer so you are looking in the center.
Exercise: You can do this exercise while you are working. Bring your shoulders up into a shrug position, than roll your shoulders back. This relieves tension in your shoulders, as well as corrects the slouching position.
Tip: Make sure to consistently breathe as you are working. This will keep blood flowing throughout your body and help relax some tension in your back. This tip may seem simple and obvious, but it is common for one to hold their breath and/or breathe rarely as they are concentrating on work.
Hopefully these tips and exercises will keep lower back pain away, as well as minimize the chances of one becoming a hunchback. Try to perform each of the exercises at least once a day in order to keep your back in its natural position, pain-free and happy.