According to the study carried out by the International Classification of Diseases, office syndrome is a cause of many musculoskeletal diseases, which comprise more than 150 diagnoses that affect the locomotor system namely, muscles, bones, joints and associated tissues, such as tendons and ligaments. They range from those that arise suddenly and are short-lived, such as fractures, sprains and strains; to lifelong conditions.
Musculoskeletal conditions were the second highest contributor to global disability. A recent report from the United States Bone and Joint Initiative suggests that half of the American adults live with a musculoskeletal condition. Surprisingly, the percentage is equal to the number of the people who suffer from cardiovascular or chronic respiratory diseases. People who suffer from office syndrome are those who work on production lines or those who have to work in physically demanding jobs. Apart from those jobs, as the name of the disease suggested, people who work in office also badly suffer from office syndrome as they have to sit hunched over a computer, type furiously and stare at screens all day.
To prevent office syndromes, it is suggested to work ergonomically adjusting the workstations, such as changing chair or adjusting computer screen, which will significantly reduce the daily discomfort that most office workers have to deal with every day. A study conducted in 2014 by Hedge and Puleio found that by working in an ergonomic workstation, it does not only reduce the musculoskeletal and vision problems, but it also boosts employees’ job satisfaction and happiness. As you can see, the benefits actually go beyond the physical.
Apart from adjusting the workstation, another way that significantly relieves pains is stretching as it can affect your body as follows.
- Keeping a proper flow of both blood and nutrient to your working tissues and muscles
- Increasing the temperature of your soft tissues
- Allowing for greater elasticity and flexibility of tissues
- Preventing discomfort and fatigue
- Boosting energy level
- Increasing range of motion, which will help to reduce stiffness, pain and joint degeneration
- Reducing your risk of developing osteoarthritis
- Decreasing tightness and resistance in your muscles and tendons
- Improving your muscular balance and posture
- Improve your muscle coordination
Today, we are going to introduce you the five simple stretches that you easily do at home and office.
- Chest and Shoulders
Hunching over keyboards strains the cervical spine and stiffens our shoulders. To relieve the pain, you can interlock your fingers behind your back, then lift your arms so you feel a stretch in your chest and front shoulders. Draw your chin down to avoid crunching the neck.
- Wrists and forearm
Poor posture, in particular having your shoulders hunched forward, decreases the blood flow downstream, including to your hands, causing soreness or in some cases and a tingling sensation or numbness. Perform a prayer stretch (Buddha stretch) by placing your fingers and palms together with your hands in front of your chest and fingers pointing upward. While keeping your palms together and having your elbows away from the body, you should slowly lower your hands until you feel a good stretch around your wrists. Hold for five seconds.
- Hamstrings, Lower Back and Lats
Sitting for too long can affect the spine as the muscles around the lumbar spine could get particularly weak while the hamstrings can go clack. Half Wall Hang stretch can help to reduce the pain and prevent the spine from being in the inappropriate position. You can do the stretch by placing your hands on the wall and walk them down until your chest is parallel to the ground. It is important to adjust the stretch by walking your feet back, so that your hips bent to about 90 degrees and your legs stand straight. Also, you should make sure that your back and your arms are in line with your ears. You may even feel a stretch down your hamstrings as you lean over against the wall and push your hips back. Keep your core engaged and don’t hyperextend your low back. Hold and breathe.
- Hip Flexors & Iliopsoas
These muscle groups are at an especially high risk of tightening after long days working. To loosen these muscles, you have to stand split stance and put both of your hands on the knee in front of you and keep the other knee straight, push your hip forwards and down keeping your back straight. You should feel the stretch in the front of the hip and thigh of the straight leg. Place the hands on the top of the hip for support. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch to other side and repeat the steps.
De-stress your spine after it’s been chair-bound all day. Stand tall with back straight, abs engaged, shoulders down, and feet hip-width apart. Bring your left leg forward, heel down, toes up and leg straight. Keeping back straight and abs engaged, bend the right knee as if sitting back, while supporting yourself with both hands on your thighs. Breathe deeply and hold for 10-30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.