Backcare Awareness Week 2014 runs from the 6th to the 12th of October. This year the focus is on back care in the office. It is important to set yourself up well at your workstation, and I have focused on this in previous newsletters.

Here are some general tips:

  • Stand, Sit and Move at your desk.
  • Stretch your back at your desk at least every half hour.
  • Set your workstation just right. Make sure your workstation is assessed.
  • Ergonomic furniture might be appropriate.
  • Use headsets when using the telephone to avoid straining your neck muscles.
  • Take regular breaks especially if you work long hours.

As suggested try and move regularly. Here are some stretches you might consider doing whilst seated.

These exercises shouldn’t cause pain, if you experience a problem, stop the exercise and consult your Osteopath or other medical practitioner. If you have an existing complaint, it would be wise to consult your practitioner to check these exercises are appropriate for you.

Chin Roll
Gently allow your chin to drop towards your chest. From this position 
turn to look towards each shoulder. Repeat 5 times to each side.

Spinal Stretch
Slowly and carefully allow your body to fold forwards. Go as far as is comfortable. Rest for a moment and return. Try 3 times.
When performing this exercise, think about moving vertebra, by vertebra. Starting from the neck, thinking about the movement then in the upper back, then lower back. 
Do the same on the way back up from the lower back, throughout the spine as you return to normal seated posture.

Chair Twist
Sit forward on your chair. Place your right hand behind your back on the seat.
Then place your left hand on your right knee and twist to the right. Hold this position for 5 relaxed breaths. Then swap around your start position and repeat to the other side.

Gentle Pecs Stretch
Bring your arms out straight to either side at shoulder level. Have the palms facing forward and the thumbs up. Extend your arms backwards to feel a stretch across the front of your chest. Hold for a slow count of 20 to 30 if possible.

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