A sports scientist revealed the simple exercises anyone working from home should do throughout the day to improve posture and relieve body pain.
Georgina Turelli, of Adelaide, South Australia, said it was important for staff to stretch in their daily routine to avoid injuries.
The healing massage therapist has helped many of her clients weather the lockdown after complaining of shoulder pain, crooked back, and poor posture caused from makeshift home offices during the global pandemic.
Whether it’s a temporary or permanent WFH facility, the massage professor at Endeavor College of Natural Health has compiled the four best stretches to help workers fight problem areas – including the hips, neck, shoulders, and back.
HIPS: TWERK CHAIR
Stuhl-Twerk: The Stuhl-Twerk helps to activate your postural muscles and at the same time to gently massage these annoying, tense muscles in the lower back area (stock photo)
The first simple movement that the sports scientist wants everyone to do is the “chair-twerk”.
“The Stuhl-Twerk helps to activate your postural muscles and at the same time to gently massage these annoying, tense muscles in the lower back area,” Georgina explained.
Sit upright in your chair for chair twerk and imagine that your hips are a bowl of water. When you start tilting the bowl forward, tip a little water forward.
Then, roll your hips back like you’re pouring some water out of your back.
“Repeat this rocking motion back and forth slowly 15 to 30 times, making sure to tip a small amount of water and not the whole bowl each time. Now you’re working in the chair, ”she said.
Goldilocks Rollers: Shoulder Rollers are designed to mobilize your shoulder blades and stretch the upper trapezius muscles, meaning they are perfect for neck pain, upper back pain, or shoulder pain caused by working on the computer (stock image)
SHOULDERS: GOLDILOCKS ROLLS
The second area of your body that you need to stretch is your shoulders.
“Everyone has probably tried shoulder rolls at some point in their life, but not everyone gets it right,” she said.
“Shoulder rolls are designed to mobilize your shoulder blades and stretch the upper trapezius muscles, making them perfect for neck pain, upper back pain, or shoulder pain caused by computer work.”
To do a shoulder roll – not too fast, not too low, and just enough twists – sit in your chair, pull your shoulders up to your ears, and then pull your shoulder blades back and together.
Now slide those shoulders away from your ears while holding them back, squeeze and hold for five to 10 seconds, then relax and repeat the exercise five to ten times.
NECK: ARMPIT SNIFF
Armpit sniffing: This is not about checking that you have applied deodorant this morning, but about a great stretch for tight neck muscles that can lead to headaches (stock image)
The third area to focus on is your neck.
Just like sniffing the armpit, Georgina said, this movement is a “big stretch” for tense neck muscles that can usually lead to headaches.
To stretch your nose towards your armpits, sit up straight, then turn your head and point your nose at your armpit as if you were sniffing at it.
With the same arm as your armpit, raise your hand toward the back of your head to gently prop your neck forward for a little extra stretch. Hold each side for 10 seconds and repeat a few times when your neck feels tense.
BACK / CHEST: POSTURE POLE
Posture Bar: Open your arms to your sides to form a giant T-shape and stay here for up to 15 minutes to allow your chest to open and recline your spine and shoulders (stock image)
The final areas that need regular stretching when you’re at the computer or laptop all day are your back and chest.
To relieve the pressure from behind, we must first release the tension from the front.
“Most of us spend a large part of the day with our arms in front of us, whether it’s typing on a keyboard, talking on the phone, or even driving a car, which can result in a hunched position when our shoulders roll forward,” she said .
A great way to balance out all of these forward movements is with the posture bar exercise.
Start by grabbing a foam roller (or rolled mat or towel) and lying on your back on the floor so that it runs from your buttocks to the top of your head.
Then open your arms to the sides to form a giant T-shape and stay here for up to 15 minutes to allow your chest to open and your spine and shoulders to sit back.