It’s not only bad for your health, exercise specialists say sitting for too long can actually cause back and neck pain. “Neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, low back pain, these are the things that are on the horizon if we don’t start educating ourselves on how we can better situate ourselves in our desk and in our chairs,” said Rafael Rodriguez, an exercise specialist at the Wellness Center-Cape Coral.
If you have to sit for an extended period, it’s important to know how to sit to prevent pain. “The biggest thing for low back pain is sitting mechanics,” said Rodriguez.
Sit up straight with both feet on the ground. Taking breaks to get up and walk can also help eliminate pain, improve blood flow and burn calories. But if you can’t, exercises like calf raises at your desk can help. “Simple ankle pumps can help promote better circulation,” said Rodriguez.
To prevent back pain, he recommends stretching ten times a day at your desk. “Come to the edge of your seat. One of the things you want to do is flex your entire body. Then from here lift up, open up, hold this position for about two to five seconds and then come right back in,” said Rodriguez.
Stretches like this not only help improve posture, it also works your back muscles. “This is another way to promote circulation throughout the upper body. Not only is it helping to work your shoulders, but also your back,” said Rodriguez.
Making time to stretch and exercise at your desk can improve how you feel during and after your work day.