Honestly reflect for a second: How proactive are you in terms of spinal health at work? Do you give yourself the ergonomic support you need every hour of the day; do you take regular breaks to hydrate; do you stretch at least once an hour? An honest answer for many people is probably no: the 8 hours go by and, besides the lunch break, you were deskbound for long periods of time, allowing tension to accumulate. So how do we stop feeling stiff at the end of the day? The formula is simple and the sooner you start the better: it requires a mix of ergonomic support, hydration and nutrition, posture and regular stretching. The stretching is the part we will focus on today because it's the best way to immediately break any tension that is accumulating.
The next time the thought strikes you, just stand up. Have a deep breath and reach for the ceiling, then stretch your arms out in front of you and hold them, with palms facing outward at full extension for about 5 seconds. Then walk to the water fountain or have a substantial drink from your water bottle. Before putting your head down and returning to work, try a stretch that works to relieve pressure in the shoulders, hips and back.
- Palms on lower back
- Push with your hands and stretch your back in the direction of your palms.
- You should know have your pelvis and lower stomach pronounced.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds and return to normal. Repeat this 3 times.
It takes about 120 seconds to become a real workplace hero in this scenario. By being proactive about your own health you influence everyone around you. A culture that revolves around healthy workplace habits makes for a more productive employee pool. Give our office in Sacramento a call if you are serious about limiting the toll that the office is taking on your spine.
Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.