Stretching OutWhen working/schooling remotely, there’s a tendency to be more sedentary. Individuals need to learn to take time to stretch out and keep the body limber. It is easy to use breaks to scroll through social media or binge on movies, videos, etc. This can still be accomplished, but stretch out and move around while taking breaks. An exercise program of stretching daily during the workday and endurance training twice a week will help reduce back pain and increase flexion. Results vary for everyone and the type of stretching exercises they are performing.
Core ExercisesCore exercises are a perfect way to work out muscle stress and back pain resulting from poor posture. Slumped over a computer can place significant stress on the trapezius muscle causing the muscle to knot up and tighten. The trapezius muscle is crucial to neck and shoulder movement and helps stabilize the shoulder blades.
Trapezius stretch with band
- Holding an elastic band between the hands, place the band at the back of the skull.
- Slowly tilt the head back to its full range of motion as the resistance is felt.
- Return the head back to the neutral position maintaining alignment with the spine.
- Repeat ten times
- Choose 2 items of equal weight such as 2 books, 2 quarts of water, or 2 hand weights, and hold one item in each hand.
- Position keeping hands near your sides
- Slowly raise up and shrug your shoulders for several seconds
- Gently release shoulder shrug and bring back arms to neutral
- Repeat for 10 reps
PostureProper posture is a learned process that requires practice. Using a mirror to check posture can help maintain proper posture while seated when working/schooling. Self-assessing posture correctly is important and viewing oneself in a mirror is an easy way to figure out what adjustments are needed. Questions to ask oneself while self-assessing include:
- Is the head far too forward?
- Is there slouching?
- Are the shoulders curling/rounding around the body?
Posture tips when seated:
- Keep the feet flat on the floor or on a footrest
- If in the habit of crossing ankles and knees change position often
- Position the back against the chair. If the spine does not align with the chair use a cushion or backrest
- Position knees at hip height or a little lower
- Maintain some space between the back of the knees and the chair’s edge
- Look straight ahead but make sure the neck is comfortable
- Position forearms parallel to the floor
- Maintain relaxed shoulders