Take a Break, Have a Stretch
5 min read

Take a Break, Have a Stretch

Article by Emma Jackson @empowered_physio

The year is blitzing by and we are now in the thick of 2022 work life. It is well known that sitting for prolonged periods has numerous, detrimental effects on the body. As a society we are becoming more dependent on technology and therefore less active. This is creating a huge rise in both neck and back pain.

In many cases this can be preventable.

How? By reducing the time we spend chained to a desk!

It is easy to lose track of time, whether you have a big project or have back to back meetings. Working from home has definitely led to reduced time moving and for some, even longer work hours. Even if you’re back in the office, how much do you really move?

To help you keep more active through your day, read my 5 tips to reduce neck and back pain:

  1. Ensure that you have an ergonomically friendly office set up: There are many companies that can help you to do this if you are in the corporate sector. If you are not, it can be as simple as having a sit to stand desk and a supportive office chair. The dining table is for eating, not working. If you are back in the office, consult your employer.

  1. Learn about your body and understand ‘correct posture’: You can do this by visiting your local Physiotherapist. If you don’t have time or money, you'll find all of the information you need to know in my ‘Pocket Ebook’.

  1. Use releasing tools: releasing or self massage is a way of reducing pain and tightness. This can even prevent recurring back pain or the development of more significant injuries. This is highlighted in my ‘Pocket Ebook’. Alternatively you can get treatment for a local Masseuse or Physiotherapist.

  1. Have active lunch breaks: Maybe you can dedicate some of your break to movement, prior to eating your lunch. For example, if you have a 30 minute lunch break, take 10 minutes to move prior. If you have 60 minutes, dedicate the first half to a walk or an online workout video. This will require more prepartaton when it comes to meals, but what's harder, preparing lunch earlier or suffering back pain?

  1. Stretch often: Movement doesn’t have to take a long time, try spacing one of my 3 stretches through separate parts of the day. I prefer my clients to choose times separate from meal items to increase total daily activity.

You can learn more about how to stretch and strengthen your muscles in my ‘Pocket Ebook’ . To get you started here are 3 of my favourite stretches that will get you out of your seat. These stretches are active, meaning they promote movement and blood flow. Try performing 10 reps of each.

Spinal roll downs

  • Start standing and slowly tuck your chin to chest and roll down to the floor one spinal segment at a time.
  • Have relaxed breathing throughout the movement
  • Only more through the range comfortable for your body
  • For a modified version have hips resting on the wall

Standing side stretch

  • Stand with one hand on the wall and the other by your side, reach over to the wall on a breath out
  • You can pop your hip the opposite way for more stretch
  • Breathe into release the stretch and repeat

Modified down dog walkouts

  • Start with hands on the wall and hips stretching away
  • Bend one knee and push the opposite heel into the floor , then repeat on the other side
  • Use relaxed breath throughout, hold positions for a few seconds

You can find my ebook at theempoweredphysio.com

Happy moving guys