If you work in an office or environment in which you sit all day, you’ve probably experience aches and pain in your neck, shoulders, or lower back. Other places you might experience pain are your knees, wrists or hips. Sitting all day, every day takes a huge toll on our bodies – especially if we’re not sitting correctly.
Fortunately, there are things you can do combat and prevent those aches and pains! These physical therapy tips for the workplace will help you feel better at the end of every day.
Set Up the Right Workstation
One of the biggest causes of pain in the workplace is simply sitting at your desk wrong. By correcting your posture and following workplace ergonomics, you can promote a healthier you at work.
- Feet flat and knees at a 90-degree angle (use a footrest, if needed)
- Elbows at least a 90-degree angle
- Monitor an arm-length away, with the top of the screen approximately at eye level
- Chair supports your back and thighs
- Head back to prevent neck and shoulder strain
Get up and Move Around
Every hour or less get and move around – maybe take a walk around the office or the block. These “micro-breaks” improve circulation and can help relieve compression that has built up as you sat.
Basic Stretches & Exercises
Doing some simple stretches and exercises throughout the day can also have a big impact on easing the pain you’re feeling at work.
1. Neck Stretches
- Relax your neck muscles and tuck your chin to your chest
- Roll your head toward the right side and hold for 10 seconds
- Return your head to the original position
- Roll your head to the left and hold for another 10 seconds
- Repeat 3 times on both sides
2. Upper Body Stretch
- Clasp your hands together and then raise them above your head, palms facing out
- Push your hands up, stretching your arms straight above your head
- Hold for 10-30 seconds, then return to original position
3. Hamstring Stretch
- Sit on the edge of a chair with one leg extended out in front of you
- Keeping your back straight, bend forward and reach for your toes
- Hold for 10-30 seconds and return to original position
- Bring that leg in and extend the other leg
- Repeat for the other side, holding for the same amount of time
If you do not see improvement after implementing these changes or are interested in more exercises or stretches to perform in the workplace, request an appointment with Performance Therapies!