Millions of Americans work behind a desk each day, and while they may be saving their body from the inherent risks of physical labor, sedentary work can also put you at risk for injury. As we’ve talked about on the blog in the past, physical therapy is beneficial for more than just injured individuals, as certain exercises can also work to prevent the onset of injuries. In this blog, we’ve compiled some movement exercises you can perform if you work at a desk all day to help stave off some common potential problems.
Your neck is tasked with handling the stress imposed by your head, and if you’re leaning forward at a desk, that only adds to the pressure on your neck. You can help alleviate this stress by making sure you have your head positioned directly above your shoulders when you’re working and conducting some neck stretches throughout the day. Slowly roll your head around clockwise and counterclockwise, and then lean it to your left and right and hold it for five seconds. Do this a couple times throughout the work day to keep your neck from becoming overstrained.
Stand and Twist
Another good movement to perform is to simply stand up and do some trunk twists. Sitting puts a lot of stress on your lumbar spine, and it causes muscles to stay in the same location for long periods. Help push some healthy blood into the area and allow these muscles to move and shift stress by standing at least once an hour and performing a few trunk twists from side to side.
Seated Hip Stretches
You can stretch your hips without needing to stand up. Scoot to the edge of your seat and extend one leg out straight in front of you while the other remains at a 90 degree angle for support. Slowly lean forward and try to touch the toes on your extended foot. You should feel it in your glutes, hamstrings and hips.
Your shoulders can get stiff if they help you type and perform tasks at a desk all day. Similar to neck rolls, doing some rotations of your shoulder joints can help prevent stiffness and muscle overuse from limited movement. Standing or sitting, rotate your shoulders clockwise and counterclockwise to help keep them loose.
Twin Cities Physical Therapy
Two other tips to keep in mind if you work in an office for a living if to get up and move regularly and perform self-assessments of your posture throughout the day. Take a phone call standing up, or walk up and down the stairwell during a break to help keep healthy blood pumping and activate some muscles that often stay relaxed throughout the workday in order to keep them healthy. By pairing that with regular posture checks and incorporating the above stretches, we’re confident your body will be physically capable of thriving in an environment with limited activity. For more tips, or to talk to a physical therapist near you, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations
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