According to statistics, approximately 15.45 million people in Canada are employed, and most of them occupy desk jobs. This means that more than 7.5 million people are at the risk of developing a wide range of musculoskeletal problems that arise from sitting for prolonged periods.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety reports that with the increased inclination towards a sedentary lifestyle—where most people sit while doing a majority of tasks—combined with a job that requires us to be seated can lead to several health problems.
Let’s take a look at the dangers of a desk job and how a few desk exercises can keep you healthy.
What happens to your body if you have a desk job?
While an occasional tinge in your lower back may be something that can be ignored, persistent and continuous pain in your back or neck is a cause for concern.
A few of the most common problems that arise out of being seated for too long regularly are lower back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain. In addition to that, prolonged periods of sitting can also lead to poor blood circulation and posture.
So what can you do to reduce the likelihood of developing chronic back and neck pain? Here are a few desk stretches that can come in handy.
Desk stretches that can help
This exercise will help you ease neck strain.
Start by sitting upright and relaxing your shoulder. Place your hands on your lap and lean to the right till your ear is touching your shoulder. Slowly move your chin down and let it drop to your choice. Make sure you keep your back straight as you bring your head up to your left shoulder. Repeat the movement five to ten times, and keep your breathing calm and steady.
Shoulder shrugs can help you relieve the tension caught in your shoulders.
Straighten your back and allow your arms to hang down your side. Inhale and hold your breath while bringing your shoulders as high as you can to squeeze them. Breathe out while letting your arms drop and repeat the shrugs 8 to 10 times.
Lateral trunk stretches
This exercise will get rid of sore arms and an aching back.
Sit straight and raise one arm over your hard while placing your other hand on your thigh for support. Slowly bend to the opposite side until you feel a stretch along the side of your trunk. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times for each side.
This one’s similar to shoulder shrugs but goes one step ahead to improve the blood circulation in the muscles of your upper body.
Start as you would with shoulder shrugs, but when your shoulders are high, bring them back down in slow and circular motion. Repeat the movement in the forward direction five times, and then backward.
If you think you need more than just upper-body desk stretches, seek help from professional physiotherapists.
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