Stay Healthy and Injury free While Working from Home
By Dr. Michael E. Pomykala, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
It’s easy to fall into bad habits when your daily routine is turned upside down. While we all are spending more time than ever at home, it’s important to keep your body moving for both your physical and mental health.
Your body isn’t meant to sit around all day. Even if you sat in the perfect upright posture at work, you’re still sedentary for eight or more hours. And that excessive desk time can cause serious health problems, including high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and body fat around the waist. Too much sitting can also cause pain. A lack of movement and exercise from sedentary work is the cause of a majority of aches and pains in the back, neck, and shoulders.
Here are a few exercises we recommend you could do from your home office
There are many types of exercises that you can do while sitting at a desk or when using a standard office chair. Low back and neck pain are the most common problems suffered by people who sit at a desk all day, every day. In addition to helping you get up and get moving, these exercises help prevent and treat the pains of working at a desk.
Seated Forward Bend
Sit with your knees together and your feet flat on the floor. Breathe in. As you breathe out, slowly bend forward over your knees, rounding your shoulders. Let your arms dangle at your sides and hold the pose for three breaths.
Do an entire core workout from the comfort of your chair. Perform 10 repetitions each of crunch kicks, side-to-side knee swipes, knee-to-elbows, leg raises, cycling crunches, and sitting twists.
Place your right hand on your left knee. Rotate your belly, shoulders, and neck, looking over your left shoulder. Hold the twist for a few seconds and then repeat on the other side.
From your chair, bend forward and reach between your legs. Grab the leg of the chair with your right hand. Use your left hand to push your right elbow down towards the floor, stretching the muscles between your shoulder blade and your spine. Repeat with the opposite hand to stretch the other side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Sitting sideways on a stable chair, move your right leg back behind you. Tuck your buttocks underneath your hips. Stretch the front of your right hip and upper thigh just until you feel a gentle pull and hold it. Sit sideways facing the opposite direction to repeat the exercise on your left leg.
Marching in Place
Stand up with your feet slightly apart and your arms at your sides. March in place, lifting your knees up, trying to touch the ceiling. Do this 20 times.
Widen your stance so your feet are more than shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Bend your knees and squat as low as you can while keeping your back straight. Explode back up to the standing position. Repeat 10 times.
Your muscles will feel loose and strong after completing this series of exercises.
If you are experiencing any problems with your wrist, shoulders, back, or neck working with our team of physical therapists can help ease your symptoms. Contact us today to make an assessment appointment.