For some, sitting at a desk for most of our day is unavoidable. Which is why it's important to have a handful of exercises you can do to counteract the irritations caused by long hours of sitting without having to leave your desk. We cover some of our favorites here.
1. Shoulder Depressions
One of our favorite exercises for shoulder and mid back pain. Shoulder depressions train important scapular (shoulder blade) stabilizer muscles to improve posture and open up our chest while helping us gain control of important postural muscles.
2. Brugger's Posture Relief
Brugger's Postural Relief position can be used as a postural awareness and rest position, useful for a number of conditions including low back, shoulder and neck pain. It's great for opening up your chest and strengthening postural muscles.
3. Thoracic Rotations
The Thoracic Spine is just a fancy word for your mid back. It's common for the joints of our mid back to become stuck from long hours of little movement (combined with being rounded forward). Thoracic rotations are an easy exercise that can be performed at your desk to create movement in those joints. Note: Video shows seated on ground but these can easily be performed while sitting at your desk chair.
4. Three Position Pull Apart
Strengthen the posterior elements of the shoulder and open up your chest with this easy series.
5. Micro Breaks
The body has the amazing ability to heal itself, but it's unrealistic to expect it to heal if we repeat the same activities that cause the pain (uninterrupted hours of sitting). The honest truth is that the only way to counteract the long hours of sitting is to move. All these exercises can help but to truly resolve pain and stiffness cause by long hours of sitting you should plan for a 5-10 minute break to get up and move around every hour. You can really do anything, go for a walk, jumping jacks, air squats, whatever you have to do to get your body moving. The more frequent, the better the results.
Evolve Performance Healthcare specializes in improving movement and functional strength for long term pain relief and improved functional performance. If you have any questions about the following exercises or looking for help overcoming pain, please reach out. We're here to help.