Tips for Office Workers

Last weekend Kim and I taught a great workshop at Reebok. Geared towards tired office workers and computer users, the information was very much appreciated and we look forward to doing it again! We realize that more people need this information, so we’ve decided to post the tip sheet we handed out. Definitely email us if you have questions, or leave a comment. Also, if you love what you’re reading think of how much better it would be if Kim and I came to your office and gave the workshop there! Contact us also if you’d like to book us for corporate classes and workshops.

Tips for Office workers to avoid work related body stresses

The most important thing to do is to move, staying in a static position for long periods of time does damage to the body. But how can you move at a desk job? Here are some tips:

On the way to work:

  • Wear sneakers or comfortable shoes while walking to the office and change into your work shoes there. It might look funny, but your feet and back will be glad you did it!
  • Do some hip, hamstring and back stretching when you wake up. It only takes 3-5 minutes!
  • If you carry a purse, handbag or shoulderbag, switch which side bears the burden each day, even if it feels really weird. Carrying even a 10 lb bag on the same shoulder every day for years can lead to a functional scoliosis!

At work:

  • Drink LOTS of water! Invest in a metal 1L bottle and drink 2-3 each work day. Not only will you meet your hydration needs for the day, it will keep you getting up frequently for the bathroom so you can move. By the way coffee, tea, and juice do NOT count as water, ONLY water is water…
  • Do a twist in your chair – ask for a demonstration
  • You can do a seated cat/cow – ask for a demonstration
  • Switch up your sitting patterns. If you usually sit at your desk with crossed legs or ankle over knee, switch whichever one is on top or in front. It might feel strange, but your hips will thank you.

Take a look at your desk and make sure that when you’re seated that:

  • Your hips are higher than your knees. If not, sit on a folded towel or blanket.
  • Make sure that when you type your wrists are at the same level or slightly below your elbows to avoid wrist problems. You may have to put your keyboard in your lap.
  • Try to keep your shoulders from riding up your neck when you are stressed. Remember that shoulders should ride passively on your ribs while you breathe. If you feel tension take a breath, hold it, and then feel the shoulders release and lower as you exhale.

Back Pain, SI Joint pain, and Hip pain can be treated using trigger point massage techniques at home:

  • Use a tennis ball to roll out your hamstrings, glutes, and fleshier hip areas. Start by sitting and putting whatever weight you’re comfortable with on the tennis ball. Try not to glaze over the tender areas.
  • Do some sternocleidomastoid massage. These are the 2 large bands of muscles on either side of the front of your neck. Start low at the collarbone and grasp the muscular band. Massage your way up till you reach your jaw, no higher. Again, be gentle, and try not to skip the tender areas. This work will help you loosen face and jaw muscles, will help improve breathing, avoid tension headaches, and TMJ.
  • Try to be barefoot as much as possible! When walking at home, be barefoot. If you have a lawn walk barefoot in the grass or go to a park. The point is to use all the muscles and joints in your feet that have been cramped by shoes. If you can at work, be barefoot under your desk and roll your feel on massage ball with a racket ball, massage ball or golf ball.