In part one of this blog, we looked at what a report by scientists that has attempted to predict how office workers could evolve within the space of 20 years, if we don’t improve working practices and put an end to largely sedentary lifestyles. Read part one here.
While the report is undoubtedly a ‘worst-case scenario’, its findings are certainly troubling – but there are measures that everyone can take, right now, to help improve their overall physical well-being as part of any typical working day.
Get up, get out
It sounds obvious, but the best remedy for a sedentary lifestyle is to move around more. Leave your car at home if you’re just making a short journey; take the stairs instead of the lift; join an exercise class – we have plenty to choose from!
We’ve seen a marked improvement in levels of activity among a lot of people recently – the popularity of activity trackers such as FitBits has had a lot to do with helping people to think differently about how much time they spend being active each day. But there is still a long way to go.
Being more active will do a huge amount to counteract the effects of sitting still all day.
Take frequent breaks (including your lunchbreak)!
We don’t mean skive off work: we mean making sure that you stand up and walk around for at least a few minutes every hour. Make your colleagues some drinks; find somewhere quiet and do some shoulder stretches for a couple of minutes… it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you make a point of moving about periodically.
This includes making sure you take your lunchbreak, too. Get away from your desk, even if you’ve made yourself a super-healthy packed lunch, go and eat it somewhere other than your desk. Or eat at your desk then go for a walk.
Get your problems and injuries treated
This is an issue that we talk about very frequently: if you have acute or chronic pain anywhere in your body, but especially in the arms, shoulders, neck, back, hips and legs, and you believe it’s being caused by your workplace, then get the problem assessed by a specialist.
Musculoskeletal problems – especially those that have built up over time, rarely just go away by themselves. And they certainly won’t go away if you are repeating the action that caused the problem in the first place.
Pain should not be a way of life; nor should your quality of life be impaired as a result of pain or injuries you are suffering as a result of the way you work. Furthermore, you shouldn’t guess at the cure because you might make things worse.
Speak to a professional; our team of physiotherapists or our osteopath will be able to diagnose your injury, analyse your posture, and assess your strengths and weaknesses. They should be able to ease your symptoms with treatment and give you some exercises specific to your problem that you can do on your own to help you build strength and flexibility in vital areas. We also have a wealth of experience in carrying out work station assessments, to identify and address aspects of your desk setup that may be contributing to your symptoms. By this method, you can be safe in the knowledge of not only how to fix your problem, but also how to prevent it from recurring.
What do I do if I’m suffering?
At Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic we have decades of experience of helping people from all walks of life to overcome pain and to get back to doing what they love. Whether you are experiencing neck or shoulder pain from sitting at your desk, or an injury which is making sitting at your desk more comfortable, or anything in between, we can help you.
Contact us on 0191 233 0500 for more information and we can make you an appointment with the best person to meet your needs. Alternatively, book an appointment via this link.