Q: How can I avoid neck and back stiffness at work?

by | Jul 24, 2013 | At Checkerboard, Integrated Marketing | 0 comments

A: Stand up, move around and stretch!  There are many parts of our body that can suffer when we sit all day, including our bones, joints and muscles – and especially our backs, necks and wrists.  Web developers and designers are inherently prone to this type of pain due to the tedious nature of their work.  All of us at Checkerboard are very aware of these potential problems and encourage stretching and moving around as much as possible to help mitigate these effects.

Here are 12 stretching exercises that will ease back pain and boost energy, for more details, follow this link to WebMD.com:

  1. Just stand up and sit down – no hands
    1. Do this repeatedly
  2. Substitute exercise for sitting – while you work
    1. Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair
  3. Shrug your shoulders to release the neck and shoulders
    1. Inhale deeply and shrug, hold, release. Repeat 3x
    2. Shake your head slowly, yes and no (yes, yes, yes, no, no, no)
  4. Loosen the hands with air circles
    1. Clench both fists with hands in front, making 10 circles in the air, then reverse direction, relax.
  5. Point your fingers – good for hands, wrists, and forearms
    1. One hand in front with fingers pointing to the floor, use other hand to gently push further and increase the stretch.
    2. Repeat with fingers pointing skyward.  Switch hands
  6. Release the upper body with a torso twist
    1. Turn around and grab the back of your chair and the arm, stretch as far as you can on each side
  7. Do leg extensions – work the abs and legs
    1. Extend legs in front, flex and point toes five times.
  8. Stretch your back with a “big hug”
    1. Hug yourself with hands on opposite shoulders, breath in and out
  9. Cross your arms – for the shoulders and upper back
    1. Pull one arm across your chest and hold, repeat with the other arm
  10. Stretch your back and shoulders with a “leg hug”
    1. Lean over (chest to knees), grasp arms below legs and stretch, release and repeat 3x
  11. Look up to release upper body
    1. Sitting or standing – stretch arms overhead and interlock fingers, turn palms up and lift chin up.
  12. Substitute walks for email – and don’t eat at your desk.
    1. Email less, communicate in person more
    2. Walk during lunch, talk with a coworker while walking

For additional information on the health problems and solutions associated with being a ‘desk jockey’ – I’ve provided some links to interesting articles via the following entities:

AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons)
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Association)
Health Magazine
Mayo Clinic

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