Do You Work in An Office? Here are Six Top Tips Every Office Worker Should Know! | Blog | Maroubra Road Physiotherapy
How do I change the bad posture I’ve developed in my office job?
Modern life poses a lot of challenges on our bodies every day. Mobile phones, tablets and laptops demand our attention. The blue light from devices changes your circadian rhythms making your mind and body feel awake and it can lead to headaches and pain.
Also, peering into your computer screen or mobile phone causes you to change your neck and back posture. Our reliance on technology extends beyond the end of a working day and into every aspect of our lives. This impacts how our bodies work in a fundamental way.
Bad posture isn’t only going to impact how you look. Bad posture, left untreated can have a serious impact on your back, neck, and shoulder injuries. According to many studies, poor slumping posture while sitting and standing also affects your breathing, causes headaches and even impacts how you feel emotionally.
Although there is no magic pill solution for a life-time of bad posture from working in an office, using stretching techniques on an ongoing basis yields many health benefits. Here are some tips to help manage bad posture in the workplace.
1. Get help with your workstation set-up
Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will be able to help you understand problems with your workstation set up. Our physiotherapists will point out possible flaws in your workstation setup and postural alignment when performing certain tasks, such as typing and sitting at a desk for long periods of time. Our physiotherapists will be able to advise you on postural awareness; appropriate pause exercises; and strength and endurance exercises. This will enable you to cope better with the demands placed on your body; and help you return to work as soon as possible. Over time these changes to your workstation will become more noticeable in your body and help with problems in your sitting posture.
2. Do regular yoga or pilates
Recent research into the effects of yoga and pilates on chronic neck pain, found that both forms of exercise had a positive impact on the pain scores and muscle functionality for study participants. Additionally, pilates increased the strength and size of the semispinalis capitis muscle in the neck.
Yoga and pilates have become a secret weapon for many people who suffer from chronic pain and if you are wanting to help yourself, you should give it a try, after all you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
3. Alternate standing and sitting at work
Ask your workplace about a stand-up desk, which means you can work standing up. Alternating between sitting, standing and moving periodically throughout the day in 30 minutes blocks will help with your posture, muscle fatigue and your experience of pain or discomfort. For more information if it is better to stand or sit at work, here is our blog
4. Use an exercise ball along with your normal office chair
Even if you happen to have a beautiful and comfortable work chair, it’s always a great idea to mix it up a bit. Moving is key. You can try using an exercise ball as a second seat for short periods of no more than 30 minutes and rotate between your normal chair and the exercise ball over the course of the day. It is possible to slouch on the ball so you still need to remember good posture. It does make you work a bit harder, encouraging your body to use core muscles even while you’re simply working at your desk. Using a ball is not appropriate for everyone, so it is advisable to discuss this option with your physiotherapist.
5. Stretching and pause exercises throughout the day
Stretching your body and simple pause exercises throughout the day will help to improve and maintain your posture. The form that these exercises take will depend on your own preferences and health at the time. These exercises are not time-consuming and can be performed while working or on the phone. In the below video you will find some great desk-based pause exercises that help with posture and chronic pain.
Some people take the opportunity to walk or jog at lunch time if the weather is nice. Or even go to the gym.
6. See a physiotherapist
The team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy are well equipped to treat work-related conditions. They use a combination of manual therapy, soft tissue release techniques, education and exercise based rehabilitation.
The team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy take a holistic approach to physiotherapy that looks at the whole person, their lifestyle and overall health. Our friendly physiotherapists are experienced at resolving chronic pain challenges for clients. Empower yourself and change the way your body feels with Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, book an appointment on (02) 9314 3888.