The weather has shifted and that first day of fall is just around the corner. Soon those warm summer days will be a distant memory as the busy fall season is approaching. Most students are already back in school and work places are getting back into the swing of things. Dr. Jerry Wright and Dr. Tyler Hunsberger have also noticed the shift as we are now seeing many more new patients coming into the office to deal with their summertime aches and pains.
As we enter into this new “back to school” season, its important to still be mindful of how we can keep our backs in tip top shape. “Did you know? The countless hours of sitting you do will eventually add up and takes a toll on your body and posture. If you slouch over your desk while typing or reading, you decrease function of your lungs and put pressure on other internal organs, which can affect ability to breathe and function properly. Also, your circulation, especially in legs, could be compromised”. To prevent developing various muscular skeletal conditions from working or studying, we along with our friends at the Canadian Chiropractic association, want to share s few helpful tips on how to maintain a healthy spine and muscular skeletal system.
1. Use the Straighten Up Canada App Daily
This free app has a series of videos that will lead you through a 3-minute routine that can help you improve your posture. The app is a great way to get you moving during your workday. Once you are familiar with the videos – whether you’re taking your break at work, school, or home – you will be able to fit the short exercises into your daily routine. By following the program, you will feel better and increase your spine’s mobility and function.
2. Set Up Your Office Space Ergonomically
Lower your computer monitor so that it is at eye level to prevent you from slouching downwards or tilting your head up. Raise your chair and adjust the keyboard and mouse to maintain your arms in a relaxed position and an “open” angle of the elbows. If possible, try to turn your body instead of only your head to speak to a colleague or look away from your screen.
3. Carry Right, Carry Light
If you carry your laptop to and from work every day, or your books to school – be mindful of how the weight is distributed in your bag. Laptop bags are usually swung over one shoulder, which can take a toll on your spine, increasing your risk of injury. A properly fitting backpack can help prevent additional strain on your body for both children and adults.
4. Take a 15 Minute Break
Taking frequent breaks throughout the day to walk around the office will help relieve the strain of sitting on your body. Aside from short breaks, try to take a few 15 minutes breaks, and make at least one of those breaks more active. The Fit in 15 program is perfect for those people who want to stay active even at work or at school. The program allows you to build your own 15 minute workout from a menu of simple activities at no cost to you, making it simple to commit to exercise at work.
5. Stretch It Out
Perform simple stretches frequently throughout the day to release the tension in your shoulders and back. Even if you need to perform the stretches while sitting, it’s enough to relieve some stress and strain from your back and promote blood flow to the area. The Straighten Up Canada app is great for this, but even simple neck and arm stretches can help.
It’s really easy to forget about time when focusing on what you’re doing at work or school. Yet, your body may benefit from movement throughout the day. Take a few moments during your day to do some stretches or light physical activity. Once you introduce activity into your routine, you will likely be more energized and ultimately, productive.