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Desk Job Fitness Tip #1

Let’s be honest. We get tired, sitting for hours on end staring at a screen, writing, editing, putting in data, researching, or whatever else your job requires. I‘m starting this blog chain to offer ideas on relieving pain and stiffness, while preventing chronic problems like carpel tunnel and scoliosis. My hope is that some of you will be able to help people you know, and pass the information along.

Our bodies often get forgotten when the pressure is on to meet a deadline. I’m a fiction writer. I know how hard it is to stop mid-concept and take a break. As I also have a Bachelor’s in fitness, I also know how crucial it is we take care of the structure that carries out our daily missions.

A lot of writers contribute to beta/critique groups, pitch fests, etc. For me, these fitness tips are just as important. This is my contribution, my thank-you to the writing community for their support.

Click here for my Disclosure. (please read)

Today’s tip is for that annoying low back and neck pain. I heard about this constantly from my personal training clients. There are a lot of ways to prevent this, but today, we’re looking at what to do about it once it’s there.

Most of us do not sit with our computer desk in ergonomic form. I’ll go into this more later. This can cause us to slouch, to lean over our keyboards or dip our heads toward the screen. All too often people do not have an appropriate desk chair as well.

So your back is hurting and/or you have neck pain. Maybe you even have a mysterious headache over your eyebrows. This headache is caused by the muscles in the back of your neck tearing from your skull because of an exaggerated forward head posture.

 


The woman on the left shows this incorrect posture. The complications are endless: scoliosis, stenosis, fusion of vertebrae, not to mention the headaches and stiffness as a result.

The woman on the right has correct posture. But seriously, who does this? I don’t even do it right. My arms get tired. It is, unfortunately, the way of the technology era. Someone should invent halos like in What I Have, You Have. Then we could just see everything in our visors, hands-free.

If you have these symptoms, the below yoga stretch is for you. We’re not limited to only this one of course. But we’re going to tackle this one item at a time. Don’t worry if you can’t get down on the floor. I’ll get to that in a second.

  1. The best option is to sit on your heels and walk your arms out across the floor until your forehead rests against it, like you’re giving the floor a big “high five” with both hands. For some, putting a pillow down, or a yoga foam block to rest your forehead on can help if you find you can’t reach the floor. It should feel comfortable. The goal is to make your torso and your arms a straight line like the man below. 
  2. Hold this for at least thirty seconds. A minute is best. 
  3. Always practice deep breathing, controlling it by pulling in through your nose and releasing through your mouth.
  4. Focus on relaxing the muscles in your body. If you can’t do this readily, that’s okay. Just envision your most comfortable place: in a hammock at the beach, in your bed, snuggled with a pet on the sofa, etc.

When you sit up, do it slowly in case you’ve relaxed enough your blood pressure has dropped. Once you get a feel for how you react to this stretch, you’ll know if you can pop back up or if you need to take it easyFor Low Back & Neck Relief

  1. For those of you that can’t get on the floor, stay in your chair and position it a foot or so back from your desk (somewhere with clear space). Then rest your arms and forehead on the edge of the desk.
  2. Hold this for at least thirty seconds. A minute is best. 
  3. Always practice deep breathing, controlling it by drawing in through your nose and releasing through your mouth.
  4. Focus on relaxing the muscles in your body. If you can’t do this readily, that’s okay. Just envision your most comfortable place: in a hammock at the beach, in your bed, snuggled with a pet on the sofa, etc.

Try not to fall asleep. I don’t want a nasty email from your boss. But if you do, congrats. You’ve reached the highest level of meditation. Kudos.

Remember, it’s not a cure-all. The body is a complicated mass of delicate systems that are amazingly tough and fragile. Many factors play into how we feel. If you’re having serious pain, you best see a doctor, therapist, or chiropractor.

I hope this helps you get through the day.

Much ♥-

Elysia

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