It’s a familiar story for many office workers: after a long day sitting at work, the back and neck begin to ache and you often suffer for days from unpleasant feelings of tension. But you can effectively combat and prevent back pain by investing a few minutes a day in a little desk exercise. Try it out with the following two exercises:
Starting position: while remaining seated, keep the back and neck straight and look straight ahead. Now press the palms of both hands against the forehead as if you wanted to force your head back. At the same time, press your forehead against your hands and maintain this resistance for a few seconds without moving your head or hands. Then do the same with the back of your head: Press the palms of your hands against the back of your head and press the back of your head against your hands, maintaining the pressure without moving.
This exercise trains the rear neck muscles and specifically helps to combat tension in the neck, headache and aching shoulders. These are often caused by a rigid posture of the head when working in front of a screen. If you also turn your head to the left and right to exercise your neck and rotate your shoulders while you are working, you can counteract aches and pains in the head and neck early on.
Starting position: move back about a metre from the desk and sit upright in your chair. Keep both feet on the floor and your arms relaxed. Now stretch both arms up and bend your torso alternately to the left and right, keeping your back straight. While you are doing this tighten your buttocks and make sure you do not make a hollow back. Then slowly let your torso bend forward until your head rests your knees. Hold the outer side of your ankles with your hands and hold this position for some seconds, breathing deeply and calmly as you do so.
This exercise stretches and relaxes the lower back muscles and relieves the strain on the lumbar vertebrae. Tense sitting the whole time in the same position often results in the back muscles of office workers becoming tense and shortening. Back pain can also be prevented by constantly changing your seated position and regularly getting up and moving about. You can also do a lot for the health of your back if you engage in regular sports and avoid putting on weight.