Firstly, desks aren’t dangerous. They’re not this high-risk piece of equipment that’s going to cause severe injury. Not normally anyway. Perhaps a desk can be compared to something that seduces its prey with comfort and causes a slower, more long-term death. Woah, that’s strong. Just to clear that up, a desk is very very unlikely going to kill us.
However, experiencing pain whilst sitting at a desk is not hugely uncommon, especially with lower back pain sufferers. But we must stop blaming desks for our troubles. We might be looking at the wrong solutions; back supports, heat packs, bracing etc. It may be that we need to look to see how we can get our positions varied on more of a regular basis.
We can help reduce the chances of picking up some aches and pains by just following these 10 easy steps. The body loves movement and responds to it very well given the right doses and recovery. Let’s get you moving a little more.
1. Have Boundaries
The long hours sitting, and lack of movement can often put us in pain. Blurred lines between working hours mean we are probably actually working more if we’re still fortunate enough to be working right now. Have boundaries. Set your working hours and stick to it.
2. Get some exercise in
Before/after work get some exercise in. Go for a walk, join in on an online class, train at home, run… Whatever you prefer, just do your best to get the 60 mins of exercise in each day. Your body will thank you for it.
3. Motion is Lotion
Motion is lotion – the body adapts well to positions to preserve energy. It does this by creating stiffness. So, let’s go through the ranges that we’re commonly a little stiff through. Why not join in on our free 30 minute virtual class every Friday. We’d love to see you there.
Self-care – you must look after yourself. Late nights and poor sleep can influence how you experience pain. Get a good night’s sleep, wake up at regular times and look after YOU.
Dance whilst you work. Whatever style you may possess, get it going. Varying your movement whilst you work means you’ll still be getting your body working and not just sitting still for hours on end.
6. Banded resistance exercise
Throwing in some banded resistance exercises to work your pulling muscles will make you feel great and improve your strength. When sitting for long periods, these muscles can often get tired, achy and sensitised. So, get them working. Putting in 2-3 pulling exercises, consisting of 3-4 sets and 10-12 reps will get the blood pumping and hopefully create the right adaptation should the resistance be enough.
7. Blue blocker glasses
Consider getting yourself some blue blocker glasses if your screen time is up. Blue light emitted from screens mess with our brain and its perception of night and day. Blue blockers help reduce the amount we absorb. This can help reduce headaches and improve your sleep.
8. Keep stress level down
Keep stress levels to a minimum. I know it’s hard in this climate but find ways to help keep your stress at bay. Stress can also influence the way you interpret pain and negatively affect your long-term health (word to self).
9. Change your desk settings
Desk set up – Isn’t this the most obvious? We’d love you to work on everything above this first. Then we can look at your set up. Get comfortable. How do you feel at the end of the day? Does it positively change raising your screen to eye height? Yes – make the change permanent. No – try something else. Bringing the keyboard closer and changing seat/standing height can sometimes help too. We’re all individuals so what works for one might not work for you.
10. Lay down
If you do find yourself sitting all day, including the evening when you are binging on your favourite Netflix programme, then lay down if you can. Increasing the surface area of your body whilst laying down will reduce the hot spots of pressure you might experience when sitting.
For any questions on how to stay healthy while in lockdown: