Working From Home Stretches During COVID-19
Working conditions have dramatically changed for the majority of Australains, It’s been estimated that up to half of the Australian workforce is now working from home due to the effects of COVID19. Home offices are now more popular than ever, with many retailers selling out high demand items such as sit-to-stand desks, ergonomic chairs, monitors and keyboards. For those who haven’t had the luxury of setting up a proper home office have had to settle for makeshift workstations consisting of a dining chair, dining table and a laptop popped up on a stack of books. It’s no wonder we’re treating more people at Erko Physio for neck and back pain than ever before!
Working from home comes with its perks, but it’s not uncommon to feel a bit tense and stiff while working from a home office. A full work day of hunching and slouching when responding to email is going to catch up to your neck, shoulders and back after a while.
To help fight the effects of working from home, we have prepared the following guide to ensure our patients stay as limber and healthy as possible while working during this pandemic.
It takes time to get used to working from home and one of the biggest adjustments can be the work schedule. At home, it can be easier to get sucked into sitting in an uncomfortable position for hours on end only to wake up the next morning with a kinked neck.
We all need to take breaks and ensuring you get up and walk around and have a stretch every 30 minutes is a great way to keep your energy and productivity levels up while also looking after your body.
Stretching is so important to maintaining a healthy blood flow. It keeps the muscles warm and prevents cramps and atrophy of muscles that aren’t in use. By warming up every couple of hours, you ensure you’re well equipped to sustain and prevent injury to yourself while you work from your home office.
Incorporating strength training into your daily routine also lowers your heart rate and provides benefits to your mental health. By maintaining a regular exercise routine involving stretches a couple of times a week, you minimise aches and pains, reduce stress and build core strength. You can use a yoga mat to assist you while you complete the following workout routine at home. You will undoubtedly build strength and full body flexibility by performing the following bodyweight workout.
Prone Cobra On Elbows
- Lay down on the floor on your stomach with your hands in front of you
- Lean on your elbows and raise your torso up until you are prone
- Keep your hips and pelvis on the ground and stretch upwards, releasing tension in your lower back
- Lean on your knees and keep your hands stretched out in front of you
- Tuck your head down to your chest
- Push out your bottom backwards, stretching the hamstrings, lats and lower back
- Lower your bottom as close to your heels as possible while stretching your arms in front
Child’s Pose With Rotation
- Like with the Child’s Post, lean on your knees and keep your hands stretched out in front of you
- Turn your head down to your chest
- Lower your bottom as close to your heels as possible while stretching one arm in front
- Take the hand in front and reach out diagonally
- Take the other hand and rest it on your lower back
- Push to release tension in the obliques and back muscles
Bent-Leg Spinal Twists
- Keep your back flat against the floor, contorting the lower back so that the legs are lying on their side
- Stretch out one arm out flat on the floor (on the opposite site to the direction your legs are pointing) and rest the other arm on your chest
- Stretch out the lower back
- Switch sides
- Hold your knees together and pull them close into your chest, lying on your back
- Rock backwards and forwards, side to side and in a circular motion
Diaphragm Stretch or Deep Breathing
- Lie comfortably with one palm on the chest and the other on the belly
- Take long, slow breaths
- This opens up the abdominal area, and gently stretches the deep back and core muscles
By performing these exercises once in the morning before work and once in the afternoon after you have finished, you ensure that your back muscles, abdominals and obliques are stretched out and in a comfortable position, ready for another day’s work. Be sure to also perform shoulder stretches and feel free to investigate yoga classes to assist with flexibility and core strength while working from home.
However, if you’re experiencing serious pain resulting from sitting at home for prolonged periods, you should contact a physio to make sure that these stretches are right for you. Erko Physio is available to consult you between 7:00am and 8:00pm, Monday to Friday and 7:00am to 2:00pm Saturday. Contact us on (02) 9557 9272 with any enquiries or to book an appointment to treat your pain.
If you are suffering from a condition, we will be quick to diagnose the problem and provide assistance via massage and prescription of a stretching routine for you to complete at home. All of our staff are highly trained and experienced in physio techniques and best practice when it comes to maintaining your physical health. Give us a ring today and talk to our friendly team about your routine, we’ll do everything we can to help you perform to the best of your ability.
Erko Physio is located at 2/154 Henderson Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015. We look forward to hearing from you and will continue to help you during the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.