Digitization is making our everyday lives much easier. More and more things can be controlled by computer, so that work processes function faster and faster.
But the consequence is that we move less and less. It is no longer necessary to go to the post office because we can send e-mails. We no longer go to the print shop because we can submit the order online. Options like these and many more offer us greater efficiency, but increasingly chain us to the chair and in front of the screen.
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Do you also work in front of a computer or laptop? Then you know what we’re talking about.
However, the reduced movement and the permanently same position also brings problems with it. Surely you know typical tensions, especially in the shoulder-neck area, or the stiff feeling when you finally get up after a long working day. In this article, we explain how these complaints arise and what you can do about them.
Sitting correctly at the PC – but how?
The problems often start with the equipment. If you spend an average of eight hours a day sitting and working in an office or home office, your equipment should be optimal. This includes a proper desk and a high-quality chair. This is the basis for good posture while sitting. Your forearms should rest comfortably on the desk and the seat of your chair should be slightly higher than your hips. A good backrest that supports your lumbar spine in particular is useful for this.
Your screen is the next factor. The top row should be at eye level. This means that if you work mainly on a laptop, you should position it in an elevated position so that you don’t have to permanently look down.
If all these settings are optimally aligned to you, you have a good basis for working in an upright posture. Position your legs side by side (especially women should avoid crossing their legs!) and straighten your pelvis. Relax your shoulders and be careful not to pull them up towards your ears. Especially under stress it often happens that you get into such a tension. Push your chin back slightly and avoid the “turtle posture”, where your head falls forward and you get a long neck, like a turtle.
You should maintain this upright position throughout your work to allow you to sit properly at your desk. However, we all know how quickly you collapse back into yourself and end up in a comfortable, but round and pathological posture.
Exercises in the office
So that you don’t run the risk of developing tension and pain due to poor posture, we’ll give you a few helpful tips to follow.
Take regular breaks
It makes sense to take targeted breaks, not only to move around in between, but also to increase your effectiveness. For example, you can set a timer for 25 minutes to remind yourself. Within the 25 minutes you work concentrated on your tasks, but then you take a break. This should not be like a big lunch break, but just a short break. Get up briefly, get something to drink and move around.
Build in small exercises
Loosen up your muscles every now and then, so that stubborn tensions can’t build up in the first place. Here are a few examples:
- Rotate your shoulders
Sit upright without leaning. Pull your shoulders up towards your ears and then slowly bring them back and down. Form a circle like this and perform the movement ten times.
- Hunchback – hollow back
Stand upright and interlace your fingers. Now stretch your arms and pull them forward. Make your back as round as possible and bring your chin to your chest. Hold the position for about 10 seconds before switching to the opposite direction. To do this, clasp your hands behind your back and stretch as far back as possible into a hollow back. This not only mobilizes your spine, but also stretches your hip flexor. Again, stay for 10 seconds and repeat the exercise five times.
- Piriformis stretch
Sit upright without leaning. Place your right foot on your left knee. Place your hand on your right knee so that it doesn’t come up, but stays down. Now slowly lean forward with your upper body. Make sure your back stays straight and the movement comes only from your hips. At the point where you feel a comfortable stretch, stay for 20 seconds before going back to the back. Repeat the exercise a second time and then switch sides. (Read more about Piriformis Syndrome)
How can the Backrelease help you?
Since some tensions are a bit more stubborn and can’t be solved by stretching alone, you need an effective way to get rid of them. The Backrelease gives you exactly this possibility. With the various attachments, you can precisely target the areas that are otherwise difficult to reach. Whether in the shoulder area, in the course of the back or on the buttocks or hip flexors. You can use the Backrelease wherever you notice painful tension.
If you want to know more about the problems of sitting all the time, feel free to read our article “How sitting all the time harms us in the long run“!
Hopefully, with these tips and with the help of Backrelease, you can eliminate your tension, and prevent further problems from developing.
Laura, physical therapist for ten years