Desk posture. We saw a large increase in people working from home (WFH) during the Covid Lockdown. People switching from an office setting to their dining rooms. No more ergonomic chairs and keyboards, now you have hard dining chairs and laptops on top of a couple books.
As lockdown started to ease, the physiotherapist industry saw a spike in desk-related patients coming through the door. Low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain…you name it.
There were a couple reasons for this:
Nowadays we live in a world where a hybrid set up is not uncommon. Some days in the office, some days still at home. So how can you prevent yourself from getting those aches and pains if your job is still quite sedentary?
My top tips to begin with are:
In terms of exercises and ways to manage aches and pains through this modality, regular mobility of the neck, middle and lower back, as well as hips will go a long way.
Rounded shoulders and looking down at a laptop for long periods of time can cause some discomfort in the neck muscles at the back.
For some initial pain, light stretches to your upper trapezius and levator scapulae muscles would be a good starting point.
Desk workers are also prone to mid-low back stiffness and pain due to the increase time sitting +/- the influence of the chair.
Mobility exercises targeting flexion and extension, as well as rotational movements are a good way of easing any tension or discomfort you may feel.
Due to rounding the upper back, extension is a great way to alleviate any stiffness. Start by placing your hands on the desk, then rolling backwards in your chair and dropping your chest down to the floor. You should feel a nice stretch in the upper back.
For other desk-based exercises, follow the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFIfv-jIgbI&t=4s
Thread the needle is a nice way to stretch off and get some rotation in the mid-back. Start in a quadruped position, place one hand through the gap you have created between your arms and leg, rotating your mid-back round as far as possible. Repeat 10-20 times per side.
For the low back, some pelvic movement and flexion to relax the low back is usually beneficial.
Seated forward bend
In sitting, relax your had and mid-back, placing your hands between your legs. Slowly let your arms fall towards the floor, rounding the low back. In this position, take a couple deep breaths in and out and then roll back up.
Seated pelvic tilts
In sitting, arch your back as to ‘sit up straight’ and then transition into a slumped posture. These two positions should alternate between anterior and posteriorly tilting your pelvis. 10-20 reps to get the low back and pelvis moving.
Still feeling some pain and discomfort from your time sitting?
You might benefit from some hands on release work. If so, call us on 01560 483200 or book online below.
If you have any questions about neck, back, shoulder or elbow pain, or would like to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist, please click here to book. Book Online – Physioflexx Ayrshire
For all enquiries : Contact – Physioflexx Ayrshire on 01560 483200.