Work from Home: Best Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

10 December 2020
By Roger Jones
roger@TheCork.ie

Improve your posture and reduce back pain with these five exercises you can do while working at home

Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

Working from home can be a big adjustment for many people. Suddenly your kitchen table and your old rickety chair have become your new office work station. These new surroundings can be great for working long hours in your pyjamas and slippers, but not so great for your back and posture.

Poor working posture can lead to many health problems, from back pain and headaches to stiffness and neck issues. If you have back pain, it is essential to take care of yourself to avoid more severe problems down the road. Self-care is critical when you work from home.

A proper ergonomic chair and work station is a great start. Orthotics in Mississauga can help with finding the right equipment to improve your posture and circulation.

To help reduce your back pain as you work from home, we’ve put together some of the best exercises from your chiropractor in Brampton to help relax, stretch and strengthen your muscles. We hope you enjoy them.

Get Up and Move Around

Standing or sitting for prolonged periods can put a strain on your body and your circulation system. To help avoid cramped muscles and improve circulation, try to get up and move or stretch every 20 minutes for a minute or two. A phone call is a great excuse to move and walk around as you work.

If you can’t manage every 20 minutes, be sure to take a 10 min break for every 1 hour of work that you do. Use these 10 minutes to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water and move your body away from your screen.

Shoulder Circles

This exercise is excellent for stiff shoulders and arms. You can do it standing or sitting, or switch it up for variety. Here’s how it works:

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
  • Place your fingertips on your shoulders and stick your elbows out to the side.
  • Pull your shoulders back and straighten your upper body.
  • Take a breath in and start to move your elbows in small forward circles. Start small and let the circles get bigger with each rotation.
  • Switch direction, and this time breathe out as your circle your arms backwards.
  • Repeat on both sides.

Chest Opening Stretch

  • Stand with your shoulders straight and upper body lengthened.
  • Find a wall and extend your right arm out to the side with your palm facing the wall.
  • Lay your arm and shoulder against the wall while you turn your body slightly to the left. You should feel a good stretch across your shoulder and chest.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Neck Stretch

  • Start by sitting or standing up straight. Lengthen your neck and think of your head floating on top of your neck by a golden thread.
  • Take a deep breath in and out and relax your jaw. Start by moving your right ear towards your right shoulder. You should feel a slight stretch on the opposite side of your neck.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and breathe.
  • Now move your left ear towards your left shoulder. Hold it and breathe.
  • Repeat on both sides.

Cow-calf Stretch

This stretch is good for your lower, mid-back, and spine.

  • Go down onto the floor on all fours. Straighten your back and place your knees hip-width apart.
  • Start by arcing your back up to the ceiling and dropping your head and tailbone towards the floor. Hold for a few seconds and breathe.
  • Now move your back the opposite way so your belly moves down towards the floor and your head and tailbone reach upwards to the ceiling. Breathe.
  • Move through both postures a few times and keep breathing.

Try these exercises as you work at home. Your back and body will thank you.

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