Working From Home - 5 Stretches to help with neck and back pain
With the current Covid19 pandemic a lot of us are in unfamiliar working environments, for many of us working from home is completely new and makeshift desks and offices have been set up in our homes. Regardless of whether your working in the office or at home, this can have an effect on our health, mainly causing neck and back pain. You may see this increase if your working from the sofa or the kitchen table. Well you may ask, what is the best way avoid these aches and pains - we have done some research and come up with five stretches to do a few times a day at home or when you are back in the office to help with these issues.
Other things you should be thinking about while working from home is making sure you are standing up and leaving your screen for at least once an hour even if this is sneaking off for snacks to help you power through. While sitting down try to keep your back straight and for the more adventurous using an exercise ball instead of a chair is a great way to improve your posture and core muscles. Who knew you could be sculpting a beach body from in front of your screen.
5 stretches to try at home
1 - Neck Roll
Concentrating on your screen all day, especially if you haven't got a well-positioned screen can literally be a pain in the neck. Neck pain can cause further issues such as headaches so doing a neck roll stretch a few times a day will help relieve these issues. Neck rolls are pretty simple to do, perform a neck roll by tilting your head forward as far as you can comfortably - from here move your head around with the tip of your head doing a full circle before returning to the starting position. Repeat 3 - 5 times every couple of hours.
Image from fitmw.com
2 - Shoulder rolls
Focusing on your shoulders now, by dropping your shoulders this can cause you to slouch and cause stress on your back. Again like the necks rolls, you can perform shoulder rolls at your desk. To start, lift your shoulders as high as you can. (imagine your trying to give the biggest shrug in the world) Slowly roll your shoulders forward and around making sure you bring them back to that high shrug. Once you have done this 3-5 times reverse the way you have been rolling and try going backwards instead.
3 & 4 - Spinal roll and Chest opener
You are going to have to stand for this one, but by doing this stretch will help again with any slouching issues or problems from sitting for long periods. Start by standing up as tall as possible and then bend your back over slowly until your hands touch the floor or as low as your hands will go. (Remember to bend those legs when bending over) Slowly rise to bring your hands up your body before eventually spreading them like a bird and pushing your chest out. Repeat this 3 - 5 times again.
5 - Hamstring Stretch
You can either do this stretch by standing up or lying down. Many people find it hard to touch their toes but having tight hamstrings is a big cause of posture issues. If you are lying down for this stretch. Bend one knee and then lift the other keeping it as straight as possible. using your hands gently push this leg closer to your chest until you feel a stretch be careful not to push too hard, hold for 15 seconds and swap legs.
If you are standing up to do this stretch, put one leg about 6 inches in front of the other. Bend your knee on your back leg and with the front leg lift your toe slowly until you feel a stretch. Again don't raise your toe too high or try to overstretch.
These are some great stretches to do throughout the day but also having the right set up is just as important, we found a great video from the Wall Street Journal on how best to set up your desk, so we hope it is useful to you as it was ourselves.
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