We are unable to advise you on dealing with the headache of Zoom meetings, dodgy internet connections, or trying to focus while your three-year-old dumps their bowl of cereal out on the kitchen floor. We can, however, provide you with the tools to manage the physical strain of working from home.
There are several reasons our bodies are feeling more battered than usual: stress and a lack of routine, resulting in poor sleep, being a couple of them. The one that we’re able to help you with is the increase in how much you’re sitting daily.
Your day is no longer broken up by travelling to work, moving from your desk to have lunch or your various other daily activities. Perhaps you’re taking part in some exercise or a pleasant stroll each day, but it’s likely you’re still sitting for more extended periods than you were before. And it’s unlikely that you’ve got access to the same ergonomic chairs and desks that you would have in your office.
Physically this manifests in the following symptoms
- Sore necks and shoulders
- Sore lower backs
If these are symptoms you suffered from pre-lockdown, then you should make this routine a permanent feature in your workday.
There are a few different things at play when we’re in the same position for a long time. Some muscles are overworked and shortened (they become tighter), and others are underworked. The muscles that are overworked become aggravated and sore. The muscles that are underworked become weak and don’t perform their job correctly, which further results in overworking those other muscles.
To give you a real-life example, we’ll look at hunching over a laptop all day:
- Our shoulders and chest become tighter
- Our traps (the muscle that runs down your neck and across your upper back) are overloaded
- The muscles that support our shoulder blades lengthen and weaken
When we come to combat these issues, we want to stretch the muscles that were shortened and aggravated and strengthen the overworked ones.
Everyone’s needs are slightly different, but this program below is a great start.
10 min at-home or in-office program
A. Seated Prayer Rotation – 30 secs each side
- Place your feet and knees together while sitting on the edge of your chair
- Bring your hands together in a prayer position
- Twist to one side, placing your elbow against the opposite knee
- Open your arms and gently rotate – keep your lower body in the same position
B. Chest Opener – 45-60 secs
- Begin standing or on the edge of your chair
- Place your hands over one another at the base of your back
- Push your chest forwards
- Gently ease your elbows back
C. Seated Glute Bridge – 30 secs each side
- Begin sitting on the edge of your chair
- Bring the ankle of one leg up on to the knee of the opposite leg
- Keep your hip square, gently ease the knee of the raised leg downwards
D. Lizard Stretch – 30 secs each side
- Start in a long lunge position
- Place your back knee on the floor
- Bring your hands and subsequently chest down towards your front leg
A. Scapula Push-ups 3×8-10
- Start in a plank position with wrists directly below shoulders
- Maintain the position and slowly your shoulders down and up
B. Rear Delt Raises 3×15 – Use two cans of food or small drink bottles
- Start in a 90-degree position, your core and hamstrings should be activated
- Bring your elbows and wrists up to parallel with your shoulders
- Focus on controlling the movement on the way down
C. Deadbugs 3×16
- Start with lying on your back, hands up over shoulders, legs bent and knees starting inline with your hips
- While keeping your lower back connected to the ground, slowly extend one leg and the opposite arm
- Repeat on the other side, only extend to the point that you can control it
D. Clams 3×20 each side
- Start lying on your side, ankles and knees in line, tilt your top hip slightly towards the floor
- Raise your top knee, while maintaining this position
Use this routine once or twice daily. For more tailored support, contact our team or drop a question below.