Counteracting a Desk Job with Massage and Stretching
As we come out of the long winter months being indoors, many of us have not been as physically active as we were during the summer. We let work take over our lives, eat take out and indulge in Netflix binges. Consequently, our bodies lose flexibility and strength. As we become more sedentary, we start to complain of neck, back and shoulder pain and we become susceptible to injuries.
Just being in a seated position for eight to ten hours a day is an unnatural position for the body to be in. The neck muscles become tight due to leaning into a computer screen while typing and they become inflexible. The hip flexors can be stuck in a contracted position causing hip pain. The hip bone muscles can also become very sore from putting a lot of weight on the back muscles because of bad posture causing lower back pain. Typing for long hours can cause carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrists. These are all conditions that many people are not aware of when sitting down at work and often can lead to more serious conditions down the line.
Massage and stretching can be very beneficial in helping reduce work-related tension and stress. A massage can help alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome, help with lower and upper back pain and shoulder tension that often go hand in hand while sitting at a desk. A properly trained therapist can work the muscles and joints to prevent a lot of the pain that can come from having the body being in a contracted position throughout the day. Some businesses may contract with private massage therapists to come to their workplace during business hours to perform massages and/or stretching for their employees. Other businesses may offer discounted or free massage and/or stretching sessions to their employees at a specific establishment.
In addition to the services of a professional therapist, there are several preventative measures that one can take to help alleviate work-related tension and stress. Some people use a specially constructed orthopaedic chair or cushion to better support their back while working. Others use a standing desk or an adjustable “varidesk” to adjust the height of their desk to improve their comfort level and posture while working. A quick five minute walk around the office several times a day or performing light exercise or stretching at their desk can work wonders. Finally, active breathing and meditation can also alleviate the stress and tension that comes with working long hours during the day.
Now that we are getting into the warmer months, people will naturally return to a more active lifestyle by working out and participating in individual and/or team sports. Massage therapy and stretching sessions accelerates the shedding of our sedentary habits and safely moving us into a healthier, active life, as well as relieving the aches and pains we will inevitably encounter along the way.