Yes you, sitting innocently at your desk
Let’s just be honest for a minute. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve been sat in that position, is it? Back slumped into a chair… shoulders hunched forwards… arms facing forward… you get the idea. You probably drove to work today, sitting in your car in that exact same position. You’ve then come into your office and sat at a desk for 8-9 hours. And guess what, you still have to drive home after work. So, from practically first thing in the morning until you get home from work, you’re in a fixed position, giving your body any natural respite. And let’s not even discuss where you’re heading after dinner – possibly the sofa for some more sitting?!
Over the next few months, we’d like to delve deeper into common issues faced by people just like you, who often come to us with acute back and shoulder pain (among other ailments), telling us that they just don’t know where to start to give their body a well-earned break. Let’s start from the basics: Each week, we’ll share another top tip aimed at helping get your body back to a state of blissful happiness!
Or walk, or run, or shuffle or mince… It doesn’t matter how you do it, the most important thing to remember is that movement is your friend. Bearing in mind just how much you’re sitting each day, making sure that you move at regular intervals is critical to your wellbeing.
TOP TIP: One thing that you can do that will have an immediately positive effect is to first and foremost be conscious of your posture. Where is your mouse? Are you moving too far forward or is your mouse next to you? Where is your neck? Is your neck too far forward? How are you sitting in your chair? Are you sitting at an angle? Bringing your awareness to your posture is key and that is the first step towards making positive changes.
Lack of stability is causing your body hostility… Time to turn your core stabilisers back on!
No, we aren’t talking about the fairy wheels on your bike! Your body has a set of key core muscles that, when properly engaged and activated, will help you maintain excellent posture and allow you to move freely and evenly, minimizing the impact of being sat down all day in a fixed position. These muscles are responsible for keeping you within your centre line of gravity on a day to day basis, so when these muscles have to over work to stabilize the body they become weak. There are a lot of other factors that influence our lack of stability such as over compensation patterns as well as biological and physiological stresses on the body that are caused by emotional distress / stress and poor nutrition.
When we are instable … (in more ways than one) our body becomes fatigued! Dealing with fatigue is key, so how do we do that? If your body is working hard to stabilize you then naturally it will fatigue and you will start recruiting other muscles to stabilize a joint such as your neck, shoulder, hip, knee or ankle and in doing so will develop over compensation patterns. It’s important to rather recruit the right muscles to avoid fatigue, this will enable you to run or walk or dance or whatever, for longer and without pain. Activating the muscles, turning the light bulbs on as I talk about a lot to my clients is key.
Other factors that contribute to fatigue are lack of nutrition, dehydration, absorption of vitamins and minerals, high levels of acidity in the body and so much more.
Remember to keep up with our journey via our newsletter and social channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Istagram) to pick up some great top tips. To keep your pain at bay, let our team of friendly, knowledgeable therapists give you a regular soft tissue treatment as well as some advice that is pertinent to YOUR body (we advise every 3-6 weeks, dependent on severity of symptoms). We’ll provide you with a great massage with lasting effects, as well as personalised advise on useful exercises you can do to keep your body stable and to live without pain.
What to look forward to next month:
We’ll be focusing on how to avoid serious injury if you take part in running, Crossfit or other sports – especially if you are indeed a “Desk Dweller”!
Yours in good health
Amanda and the Intulo Health team