Ever notice that as you go through your day sitting at your desk that you start to slump, ooze, and contort yourself into a gelatinous blob while typing? Do your co-workers sarcastically comment on how “great” your posture is? More importantly, are you sore after a long day of sitting and are just putting up with it, passing it off as an “everyday ache and pain”?
Well, your Pacific Beach Physical Therapy team at Isis Physical Therapy is here to come to your rescue. Here are 3 things that you can do RIGHT NOW to help your body through your workday:
Take frequent breaks from sitting.
We’ve heard it (and said it) many times before, if it hurts, don’t do it! The more breaks you can take if you’re going to be sitting for extended periods the better. Go for a drink of water (we don’t condone the use of that heaven-sent coffee), walk over and tell your boss how “great” his tie looks, or razz your cubicle buddy about the money you took from him on the golf course this weekend. Your body will thank you for it (even if your coworkers won’t!).
Stretch your hips and your chest.
When you’re sitting in your office chair all day, your knees are generally bent to 90 degrees and it’s a safe bet your shoulders are rolled forward. Staying in this position for the 6-10 hours shortens up your pectoral muscles as well as your hip flexors. If you think of working as exercise (and not an exercise in patience or testing your Sudoku skills) you’re training your body to be in a bad position for a long, long time. Just think if you went to the gym for that same 6 hours each day…you’d be in the best shape of your life!
Check your desk to see if it’s ergonomically set up for YOU.
If you find yourself looking down towards your computer screen, you’re going to be slowly straining your neck throughout the day. Put a book (or two) under your screen to raise it up to eye level. You also want to make sure that your chair is tall enough so your knees are below your hips while your feet are staying down on the floor. No dangling feet! As for your keyboard and desk, you want to make sure that 1. your hands are below your elbows and 2. your elbows are supported and bent to 90 degrees. If you have any questions, we at Isis Physical Therapy San Diego are available to accompany you to your office for an ergonomic consultation.
Now that you have all of this great info, START USING IT! We’ve attached a link with a great hip and chest stretching routine you can do at your office or desk. You may look like the office jokester while you’re doing them, but your improved posture will have you looking taller, thinner, and everything else a late night infomercial can promise you. As always if you have any questions about these exercises, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 888-348-2884 and we’ll be happy to answer them.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back every week for our latest installment of how you can improve your health from home!