If you’re working the majority of your day’s sitting down like myself, you might be finding the odd time that you’re waking up with body aches or even just having trouble sleeping.
Sitting down for 8+ hours a day at a desk can be taxing on your body, and it’s essential to stay active at a minimum level. When your body gets too used to sitting, you run the chance to pull muscles or causing strain when you perform other activities, which could end up in injury.
I’m no stranger to a little hot/cold cream now and then, but I do my best to prevent it.
Other than being seated ergonomically and paying attention to the position and angle of your arms and back while working, it is crucial to at least get a little stretch in here and there — bonus points for incorporating a resistance band as well into your stretches.
Stretch 1 — Reach above your head with both arms, and grab your elbow with each hand. Lean-to the sides slowly and hold for 10–15 seconds, repeat on the opposite side.
Stretch 2 — Take your left foot and place it on the knee of your right leg while sitting straight up. Lean forward slowly until you feel it pull on your back/butt. Hold this for 10–15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stretch 3 — Hold a resistance band using both hands. Stretch your arms out in front of you and pull the band horizontally. Continue this for 10–12 reps and 3–5 sets.
We’re hearing a lot these days about chairs, pads, desks, etc. So I’m going to share a few of the items I use and a few ‘nice-to-have’ items I’d even like to consider in the future.
Keyboard / Mouse wrist pads — These are great for ensuring your arms are at the proper angle for using your peripherals. There are many types, sizes, and shapes, but it’s well worth it.
A comfy & supportive chair — One might argue this is paramount to anything. Your chair is where you’ll be parked for the day, so it’s ok to splurge a little. Herman Miller makes phenomenal chairs, and they’re built to the specific size of your body, so make sure to measure correctly for the best support.
Ergonomic foot rest — Now, I don’t have one of these anymore (dog ate it.), but it was terrific. Now that I realize it, I may have to re-purchase. They’re great for encouraging you not to keep your legs in one specific position bent 90 degrees or laid straight out in front of you.
Standing desk — I don’t currently have a standing desk. I do have a plan for the future, and I see a massive benefit to having one. I think circulation is vital when you’re at a desk all day, which is an excellent way to achieve it. There are a couple of standing desks, be it mechanical or the kind that sits on your regular desk. The choice is yours. Obviously, one is more cost-effective.
Above all, try and get up and move around. Stretch, don’t slouch, have a proper height desk and chair, don’t work on your couch (as I’m writing this, I am guilty. Whoops), and ensure you’re hydrated / fed and getting a little bit of distance from your monitors through the day.
Our health is important. Before we know it, we’re in our mid 70’s and looking back on the poor choices we made, wishing we bought that $1000 standing desk that could have saved us a lot of current back or hip pain.
You only have one body. Protect it, exercise it, feed and water it, and you’ll be laughing your way through your later years!