Let’s face it, we all sit too much. In general it’s good that we take a break and sit down, but there is a downside to it. If you sit too much your body tends to curve like a C and this can cause strain on the muscles in your neck, back, and shoulders. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do, without having to get up!
You probably already know this first one, but reminders can help. Just shrug your shoulders. I could give you more detailed directions but it’s less important how you do it as long as you’re getting some movement in there. You can pull your shoulders up towards your ears, roll them forward or backward, or even tilt your neck towards each shoulder. You can even shimmy them if it feels good. If your boss asks, just say it’s prescribed by your massage therapist.
If you’re stuck at your desk for any period of time, put a pillow behind your back. Again, any size or shape pillow will do, just make sure it doesn’t come up higher than your neck line and lower than your waist. This creates a slight arch in your back to combat the tendency to create the C curve. It also gently pulls your neck and shoulders backwards which builds better posture. This is also great for driving. I have a medium size bag of rice that I keep in my car. I move it around depending on where it feels good. Sometimes I need the stretch between my shoulder blades, other times I need the lower back support.
Use this last exercise when you’re tired or have a headache. Very gently rub your temples and jaw with your fingertips. You can even rub the bone just in front of your ear. This is especially helpful if you clench your jaw. Gently pressing the muscles on your cheekbone and eyebrows helps with sinus trouble that is so prevalent this time of year. One way to make this even easier is to rest your elbows on your desk. The weight of your head will push into your fingers so you don’t have to press as hard.