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Office Spine Health 101: Office Stretches and Exercises

In the first two installments of this series, we discussed how to maintain proper office chair posture and creating a healthy workspace. If you missed those entries, we encourage you to read them. In this entry, we will be delving into the various office stretches and exercises you can do to ward off back pain.

One of the easiest ways to prevent back pain is to get up and move at least every hour. Set a reminder on your phone or computer and walk around the office or stretch at least once an hour. You can even try to implement one of the following office stretches and exercises.

Office Stretches

Our favorite office stretch is the reverse arch stretch. It’s our favorite because it doesn’t draw a lot of attention in the workplace like these stretches might. Follow the steps below to try the reverse arch stretch:

  • Scoot to the front of your chair and lace your fingers behind your back.
    • You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest.
  • Take a deep breath and let your shoulders dip further back and let your head fall back.
  • Exhale.
  • Hold this position for a few deep breaths.
  • Slowly bring your head back up and unlace your fingers.

How did that feel? As with all stretches, it’s important to listen to your body and move slowly. Stretching should never be painful.

Office Exercises

Regular exercise can work wonders when it comes to preventing injury and improving posture. Implementing a strength training regimen that focuses on your back and core muscles can be particularly helpful in keeping your spine happy and healthy.

We’ll warn you, these exercises aren’t quite as suitable for the office as the reverse arch stretch and may draw some attention. So, we’d recommend adding them to your workouts at the gym.

  • Single-arm dumbbell row – Position your right leg and right hand on top of a flat bench. Use your left hand to pick the dumbbell off the floor and hold it while keeping your back straight. Pull the dumbbell up to the side of your body, keeping your upper arm close to your side and your torso stationary. Then, lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. Perform this movement 10-15 times before switching sides. After completing the exercise on both sides, rest before repeating it 1-2 more times.
  • Planks – Start by getting into the pushup position and dropping onto your forearms, making sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Keeping your core muscles tight, make sure your entire body forms a straight line. Hold the position for as long as you can before resting and repeating the exercise 1-2 additional times.

We hope this series on office health has been beneficial. If you or a loved one is suffering from back pain, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified surgeons.

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