Workplace Stretches - Part 1
6 Tips For Your Clients with Office Jobs
Musculoskeletal injury accounts for 50% of all absences from work. Good posture and frequent proactive stretch breaks are paramount – keep your participants’ musculoskeletal system healthy by assigning stretches not only during your personal training sessions, but for the workday.
Participants with office jobs tend to compensate for postural imbalances with a forward head and tense shoulders. The result? Headaches, weak back muscles, and finger and wrist pain. Following are the safest ergonomics and tips to keep the body mobile!
Tip 1 – Prioritize the Fingers, Wrists and Forearms
With the amount of time we spend on our screens, fingers, wrists, and forearms are prone to overuse injuries. Prevent tech injuries like selfie elbow, carpal tunnel, and finger pain by taking frequent breaks for wrist and finger flexion and extension.
Tip 2 – Don’t Slouch!
Easier said than done… but as you slouch habitually, the pecs become short and tight while the back becomes elongated and too weak to hold up the head in an upright posture. It causes stress on the upper back neck and shoulders. Stretch the pecs and self-mobilize the thoracic spine. Strengthen the back by squeeze the shoulders together and lifting the sternum. You can do all of this without ever leaving the desk!
Tip 3 – Counteract All Day Flexion with Hip Extension
The effects of chronic postural imbalances are no joke. In an office setting, the hip flexors get tight from sitting (all day flexion). The fix for any repetitive motion is to do the opposite. Stand up and anchor the pelvis by activating the lower abdominal. Posteriorly tuck the pelvis, pressing the hip forward. Raise the arm and side bend for an additional QL stretch.
Tip 4 – Get a Good Head on Your Shoulders
Forward head posture is all too common for participants who sit all day looking at a screen. For every inch that the head migrates forward, there’s an increased load of about ten pounds on the spine. This leads to pain in the upper traps, SCM and suboccipital regions. Also, a misaligned head can lead to faulty breathing patterns, poor digestion and TMJ. So take some time to press the chin down and the crown of the head back so that the ears line up with the shoulders. You can use either the back of your chair or lie on the ground.
Tip 5 – Pelvic Circles
Assign pelvic circles to your clients who sit all day. Stack the head, shoulders, and torso upright and over the pelvis. Tuck the pelvis, activate the lower abdominal, and scoop around.
Assign these during rest intervals of your clients’ programming. For prolonged sitting, use a neutral posture throughout the workday.
Tip 6 – Hamstring Stretch at Your Desk
We all know about 90-90 hamstring. This is a great stretch for a formal stretch program, but most clients need practical advice for stretches they can do wherever, no matter what they are wearing. Good posture and a neutral pelvis. Outstretch the leg and dorsiflex the ankle. If you can prop the leg up, even better. Feel it in your calves!
Originally featured on Instagram Stories