World spine day – Simple Stretches for a Healthy Spine

20ADO_WSD_Stretches

ActivTips:

1. People working at a desk usually spend close to 160 hours per month seated. This leads to various health and posture issues.
2. Sitting continuously for long periods of time strains the spine and the muscles around the spine, including your back and neck.
3. Changing positions every 30-60 minutes can be extremely helpful. Short walks around the office and a few desk stretches would work wonders to prevent low back pain in the long run.
4. Proper positioning with respect to the desk, keyboard, mouse and computer is required to eliminate stress developing in the joints.
5. Sitting straight can not only help in preventing injuries, but can also boost your metabolism and improve your productivity.

Your Back at Work

Spine problems – especially Neck and Back Pain – are the most common physical complaints among working people. Research has proven that sitting all day is one of the worst things one can do to their body, which people with desk jobs in a typical 9 to 5 schedule may find difficult to avoid. Back pain ranges from a dull ache to a stabbing sensation. If left untreated, back pain can make it hard to move or even stand straight.
The following 5 Office Stretches will help you fight the mid-day slouch and improve your posture as well.

Chest Stretch

• In seated or standing, clasp your hands behind your back and push your shoulders back to feel a stretch in the chest
• This is one of the best stretches for people who tend to stay hunched forward typing on their laptops most of the day

Shoulder Shrugs

• Lift your shoulders up towards the ears, hold for up to 5 seconds and push them back while coming back down
• The shoulders and neck acquire a lot of muscle tension from the constant typing, clicking, etc.

High Arch Stretch

• Inhale deeply and raise your arms above your head. Clasp your hands together with your palms facing upwards. Hold for 30 seconds and exhale. Inhale again, lean to your left for a deep stretch of the right side of your body and repeat on the other side

Side Twist

• Place one hand on the back of your chair and twist your body to the opposite side while keeping your back straight. Repeat on the other side
• Good Posture is difficult to maintain when sitting continuously for hours. Therefore, this stretch helps relieve tension in the mid and low back

Ankle to Knee

• Place the left foot on the right knee and lean forward for about 30 seconds. Switch sides.
• This is a great stretch for both your back and the hip flexors.

Apart from these stretches you can avoid back and neck problem by following these guidelines to sit properly:

• Make sure feet are flat on the floor or use a footrest
• Do not cross your legs, ankles should ideally be in front of the knees
• Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat
• Knees should be at or below the level of your hips
• Adjust the backrest of the chair to support your low or mid-back
• Relax your shoulders and keep the forearms parallel to the ground
• Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time

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