NIGGLES, STIFFNESS, GETTING YOU DOWN?
It’s no secret that the “average healthy adult”, spends a good proportion of their day sitting at a desk, driving, travelling or hunched over their phones. Considering that our bodies are designed for hunting and gathering, it is really no surprise we are suffering these low grade non specific aches and niggles, is it? We are no longer leading that lifestyle where we have to go and hunt for our food, so our bodies are slowly starting to adapt to this new sedentary way of living.
If we set an example to our family, friends and work colleagues by making a few small changes to our own lifestyles (and maybe some bigger ones too), we can reduce our own risk of injury, and then we can teach those we care about to make the right choices in their lifestyle too.
4 Tips Guaranteed To Help Stop The Nagging!
1) Move More At Work
If like many of my clients you work in an office or similar environment where you’re sitting maybe for several hours at one time and annoying niggles and troublesome twinges are getting you down then perhaps it’s time to look at your work environment and make some simple but effective changes.
First look at your work station, Is your chair fully adjustable, after all we are different shapes and sizes, we need a chair to adjust to our body’s frame so as to eliminate unnecessary stresses and strains on our back, neck and shoulders. Does your chair support your body? Look at the back rest, does it support the length of your back and is your chair seat deep enough and at an angle to sufficiently support your legs? Give it a go now and notice if the soles of your feet are comfortably in contact with the floor when your thighs are at 90 degrees of hip flexion.
Ok, now look at your computer screen, is it positioned so that you don’t have to look down at it and are your forearms, elbows and hands supported – you may need armrests to get the positioning right for you. Better still you could consider investing in a raised laptop stand on top of your desk so you can stand while you are working to ensure that your hip muscles are permanently active.
However, whether sitting or standing, remember to move your position regularly to ease muscle tension. You could do this by setting your work tools where you have to reach or walk to get them. Maybe plan a simple movement routine that will mobilise your shoulders, back and neck, you could walk around your desk or get a drink at regular intervals.
2) Stop Carrying Your Bag On The Same Shoulder
Have a look around you, how many people do you see with a bag slung over one shoulder?
shopping bags, laptop bags, heavy sports bags. Talking of sports bags – Think about it, would you ever consider going to the gym and only training one side of the body over and over again, yet every day some of us carry the equivalent of a moderate to heavy strength training session on one shoulder. Just Imagine the potential risk for injury. How easy would it be to reduce that risk with one simple change to your choice of bag. You could try using a rucksack or a trolley bag.
3) Driving You Mad
Ok, so you’ve managed to adjust your car seat position to support your body the best you can but on longer journeys you still find yourself fidgeting and wriggling to get rid of that nagging pain in the butt and those twinges in the back and shoulders. Look closer at your seat position, does the seat support you enough, is it firm and adjustable. Make sure that it doesn’t slope down at the back of the seat if it does then you will need additional back support, a small cushion or lumbar roll (if it doesn’t have one fitted) to ensure your weight is distributed evenly and not bearing too heavily on your lumbar spine. Ensure that you comfortably reach the pedals while maintaining a slight bend in the knee and of course don’t wear high heels or flip-flops!
Finally plan your journey to accommodate frequent stops where you can get out of the car and get your body moving, release build up of tension, breathe deeply, hydrate and nourish.
4) Seek Out A Skilled Professional Who Can Assess Your Intrinsic Function
Not to be confused with seeing a medical professional whose job is to assess medical conditions. Find someone who understands intrinsic function like a Biomechanics Coach™ at TimeAndFitnessForYou.com who specialise in seeking out physical dysfunction for the purpose of correcting and improving your function of movement and as a bi-product of correcting dysfunction, reduction in minor non-specific aches and pains can sometimes be achieved.
Check out our Move Better, Feel Better, Be Better – Fit For Purpose and Wellbeing For Life Programs at TimeAndFitnessForYou™