Every day, all across the country millions of workers spend hours sitting at a desk in front of the computer. Sitting in the same position with little or no exercise throughout the day can cause headaches, neck and shoulder pain and muscle cramping.
RESEARCH SHOWs neck and shoulder pain EASED with simple exercises
Researcers in Italy recently conducted a study on a group of government workers and found that a simple series of exercises and stretches can make a difference.
Researchers followed a group of 192 office workers for eight months. Throughout the study, participants performed a series of neck and shoulder exercises every few hours while at the office. In addition, they performed basic relaxation exercises at home daily for 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of the study headache frequency fell by 41 percent and daily aches and pains fell by 43 percent. Go to http://www.ohsonline.com/articles/64148/ to see a more complete report.
EMPLOYEES SHOULD MAKE STRETCHING, NECK AND SHOULDER EXERCISES PART OF THEIR WORK DAY
Mid-morning, early afternoon, late afternoon. It doesn’t take a lot of time – just a few minutes. These stretch breaks will ease tension, relieve routine aches and stiffness. Stretching and bending regularly acts as an energizer, gets the blood moving. Much more effective and healthier than a coffee break!
EMPLOYEES SHOULD DO IT AT THEIR DESK J J J TEACH EMPLOYEES HOW THEY CAN STRETCH IN THE OFFICE, RIGHT AT THEIR DESK
Here are a few simple stretches. They’re easy. Share them with the organization via email. Recommend that people do them 2 or 3 times each day. You can also call experts at Proactive Partners to get a more tailored program - visit www.beproactive.com to get in touch. But here are the stretches that will get you started:
* Shoulder Shrug
- Sit straight with your shoulders relaxed. Inhale and squeeze your shoulders up toward your ears.
- Hold tightly for several seconds and relax as you exhale. Repeat several times.
* Neck Stretch
- Sitting straight, exhale and let your neck drop forward. Relax for about 2 seconds, then lift your head to the center.
- Let your head drop to one side, relax, and return to center. Repeat to the other side.
- Do the whole sequence 5 to 10 times, the more often the better.
* Stretch Your Spine
- Sit straight in your chair. With your hands clasped behind your head, exhale and turn slowly to the right.
- Look behind you, twisting as far as comfortable without strain. Hold for several seconds, and inhale as you return to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
* Shoulder Stretch
1. Stand with legs slightly bent and feet hip-width apart. Or you can sit.
2. Put your right arm across the front of your body so your forearm is near your left shoulder. Extend until you feel a light stretch in the back of your right shoulder.
3. To push the stretch a little further, hold your right arm at the elbow with your left hand. Hold for about 8-10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
4. Repeat 3-5 times.
GET A COACH, GET HELP
Your employees will want to do stretches to relieve tension and reduce/eliminate headaches. While the stretches aren’t difficult, remembering to do them regularly is. Proactive Partners has an interesting coach concept – visit www.beproactive.com to learn about how you can get a professional to lead stretch breaks and lots more very cost-effectively.
Or try an on-line version. There’s a stretch demo on youtube. It does a nice job. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl_Ck2LCGoE .
Or you could get DVD’s for employees to use at their computer. Check out www.take5moment.com.