Home working survey reveals increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries caused by poor posture and improvised workstations
Lancashire based massage therapist and founder of YOLO Wellbeing, Cheryle Britton, shares her tips to help you avoid musculoskeletal injuries whilst working from home.
Poor posture is caused by the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions for prolonged periods; which results in a build up of pressure on tissues, causing tension, aches and pains.
Top tips to keep you feeling tip top
Wherever you are seated try and keep your back as straight as possible, and your monitor high enough so as you’re not bending your neck to view your screen,
Getting up and changing your posture at regular intervals will alleviate the pressure on your joints, muscles and vertebrae. A 5min break after every 25mins of work is good for your health and your productivity,
When your joints are immobile for prolonged periods of time you get a build up of Fascia, the connective tissue that wraps around your muscles; which causes tightness and tension, and can lead to aches and pains.
By mobilising and stretching your joints: wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, back, knees and ankles you help to clear the excess fascia, to relieve tension and make the movement of your joints feel freer.
Poor posture can also affect your breathing, try this simple breathing exercise to help correct your posture, relax and energise you.
Sit up straight and take in a deep breath, in through your nose. As you’re breathing in imagine the air going to the very top of your head. This will lengthen your neck, and your shoulders will drop. When you can take in no more air, hold it for a second or two.
Then exhale slowly through the mouth. Let your shoulders relax, but keep sitting up straight. Keep blowing until all the air is expelled from your lungs. Normally we shallow breathe which means we hold a lot of stagnant air in the bottom of our lungs. This exercise helps to remove it.
Take in another deep breath, in through your nose. This breathe should be deeper as you’ll be able to take in more, fresh air. Again imagine it filling up your body to the very top of your head. Hold, breathe it all out.
Do this 3-4 times. Then notice how much calmer and more relaxed you feel. The fresh air in your lungs will help you feel more energised and focused, ready to return to work.
“If you are experiencing aches and pains, these tips can help ease them, and prevent musculoskeletal injury. However, if your symptoms continue, or get worse, we recommend you seek medical advice. If left unchecked, what feels like a niggling ache now, can deteriorate into chronic pain, which takes much longer and is more difficult to correct.”