Last blog we talked about the first step to combatting the aches and pains of working in an office.  How you set up your workspace dictates your posture. Sitting in bad or abnormal postures for extended periods of time can lead to muscle aches and imbalances that can just feed into the problem.  In this blog I am going to outline some simple exercises that can be done in the office to help retrain some of those postural muscles to keep and provide some relief from sitting all day.

Exercise 1: Seated Chin Tucks

Purpose: activation of the deep neck flexor muscle group.  These quite often become inactive, which makes the larger muscle groups of the neck take control leading to upper back and neck stiffness.

Directions:

  1. Seated with proper upright posture, perform a “double chin”
  2. Now maintaining the double chin, extend your neck backward, (try to push your neck backwards without tilting your head up).
  3. Hold for 3 seconds
  4. return to neutral
  5. Repeat 10 times

Exercise 2: Arm Circles with Shoulder Retraction

Purpose: Strengthen the rhomboid muscle group.  These muscles pull your shoulder blades back and together where they are supposed to me.  Often with long days at the computer are shoulders tend to become round and come forward leaving a lot of stress on the upper back.

Directions:

  1. Begin seated or standing with upright posture
  2. Pull your shoulder blades back (like you are squeezing something between them) with arms away from your body at shoulder height with your palms facing forward
  3. Perform 10 small forward arm circles while maintain the squeeze between your shoulder blades.
  4. Now perform 10 small backward arm circles
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 with palms facing backward

Exercise 3: Standing Pelvic Tilts

Purpose: Sitting all day we often lose our lumbar lordosis (the natural curve of your lower back).  These pelvic tilts will help regain the lordosis and increase mobility.

Directions:

  1. Begin standing with proper upright posture, feet shoulder width apart
  2. Slowly Perform anterior pelvic tilt: Contracting your stomach muscles and your butt muscles together you will curl your tailbone under between your legs. (try to stick your tail between your legs)
  3. Slowly perform posterior pelvic tilt:  Relaxing your stomach muscles and contracting the muscle in your low back (stick your butt out like a Kardashian) increasing the arch of your low back
  4. Return to neutral and repeat 10 times
  5. Make sure to keep your back and shoulders in a neutral posture the entire time through the exercises

Exercise 4: Get up and go for a 3-minute walk

For best results and maximal relief, perform these exercises once an hour.  While performing these exercises and maintain conscious thought about keeping a proper posture, the aches and pains of sitting all day at a computer will start to fade to the back of your mind and you won’t notice them anymore.

These are just a few of the things that can be done at the office to help alleviate some stress off your body.  For help outside of the office, come and see us at Oakville Chiropractic Centre to help speed your process along and say goodbye to office related neck pain, back pain and headaches.  Call us at 905-845-2291 to make an appointment, direct billing is available for your convenience.

Dr. Phil Wessel