Stretching in the office: the best way to avoid neck and back injuries

To prevent muscle aches and pains caused by long hours sitting at the computer, do these exercises in the office.

Employment resources

Having discomfort in the back or neck is very common in people who spend long hours sitting. Generally, this problem is experienced by office workers and all of us who work in front of a computer, making it a bit difficult to alleviate these pains since the work routine must continue. Luckily, there are some exercises, like office stretches, that you can easily do. If you want to know what they are, keep reading!

Aim for these stretches in the office and avoid back and neck pain

As you know, prevention is better than cure, and with the list of stretches and exercises to do in the office that we give you, it is precisely what you will do. However, if you suffer from severe back or cervical problems, it is best that you go to a specialist.

Don’t miss out on the following list of exercises to do in the office!

Side Neck Stretch:

  • Sit upright in your chair.
  • Gently tilt your head to the side, bringing your ear to your shoulder.
  • Hold the position for 15-20 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Head rotation:
  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Slowly turn your head to the side, bringing your chin to your shoulder.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and then do the same to the other side.
  • Lower back stretch:
  • Sit in the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your arms in front of your chest.
  • Turn your torso to the side, feeling the stretch in your lower back.
  • Hold the position for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.
  • Shoulder stretch:
  • Sit or stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring one arm across your chest and with the other hand, gently press into your elbow to intensify the stretch.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then repeat with the other arm.

Arm and back stretch:

  • Place your hands on your desk or a stable surface.
  • Walk backwards so that your body forms a 45-degree angle to the desk.
  • Feel the stretch in your arms, shoulders, and back.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds.
  • Trapezius stretch:
  • Sit upright in your chair.
  • Reach one hand to the opposite side of your head and apply gentle pressure to stretch your trapezius.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
  • Hip flexor stretch:
  • Sit on the edge of your chair.
  • Bring one leg forward and keep the other stretched back, with the foot flat on the ground.
  • Lean forward slightly to feel the stretch in the front of the thigh of the straight leg.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch legs.

What causes back problems?

Back pain is given for various reasons, and almost always, the origin is the sum of several of them. In general, these are the causes that we all, at some point in our lives, face:

Sedentary lifestyle: according to studies carried out by the INE on sedentary lifestyle and health in Spain, more than 50% of Spaniards lead sedentary lives, sometimes because of the work we have and other times, because of how we spend our free time: if we spend it sitting down, if we have more or less active hobbies, if we reserve time every day to exercise… when we get used to being sedentary, our muscles atrophy, our bones do not receive any stimulus by which to strengthen themselves and the threat of cardiorespiratory diseases appear.

Muscle and ligament strain: they occur when we do repetitive exercises or maintain bad postures for a long time. What happens is that the structures become inflamed and press on the nerves, which produces that shooting pain.

Ailments of age: as we get older, the joint structures wear out, which is known as arthritis. The cartilage, which acts as cushions between the intersections that form the joints, wears out and leaves them without cushioning.

Overweight: Exceeding weight, from a medical, not aesthetic, point of view, since this is very subjective, being overweight weakens the muscles, which can cause hernias and protrusions.

Poor nutrition, smoking and alcoholism: Smoking and excessive drinking, as well as eating an unhealthy diet, high in fat, sugar and salt, can cause a decrease in blood circulation and inflammation of the disc that will end up compressing the nerve.

What are the most common musculoskeletal disorders?

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common conditions due to occupational causes. Above all, they affect the upper extremities, neck and back; and the ones mentioned below are the most common:

Rotator cuff tendonitis: it is inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder muscles, especially the rotator cuff, and is usually caused by overloading the tendons and by repetitive movements.

Epicondylitis: Also called “tennis elbow.” It is triggered by the repetitive effort in the movement and by which the tendons of the muscles of the external face of the elbow become inflamed. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome: it is the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the wrist at the level of the interior of the carpal tunnel. 

Low back pain: it is a painful and persistent contracture that forms in the lower back due to overloading it or maintaining repeated postures for a long time. To avoid it, you have to constantly think about keeping your spine aligned with your pelvis and upright.

Cervical tension syndrome: it is another of the muscular contractures that occur at work. This appears in the posterior cervical region and is caused by an overload of work, the repetitive use of the muscles or forced neck postures. In addition, it is especially frequent in workers who maintain this static posture.

Do you want to know more about postural health and tips on PRL? Do not go too far from our content because we will continue talking about health at work! We are waiting for you at Educa.Pro.

Keep reading