05 Sep Self Care for Office Workers
Sitting at a desk all day?
When sitting at a desk all day without taking breaks every 30 minutes, we expose ourselves to a higher risk of both physical and mental health problems. Prolonged sitting especially can cause a lot of musculoskeletal problems which cause us pain and tightness. We tend to focus on the discomfort around the neck and shoulders due to postural imbalances, an issue we have all experienced, but what about the butt?
The gluteal muscles are one of the most affected areas for desk workers and can often be forgotten. They can become inactive and weak when we sit for prolonged periods. However, many people don’t know that the gluteals are a central part of our everyday movement. Adequate glute control is necessary for pelvic and lower back stability plus they help stabilise through your gait (walking) cycle. When your glutes aren’t activating sufficiently the muscles can deteriorate and you may experience sciatic, lower back pain, tight hamstrings and even knee pain during exercise.
The best way to keep on top of this is to regularly take a few minutes every half hour to stand up and stretch. Maybe make it a rule that every phone call you take standing up, or instead of emailing your colleague you walk over and deliver the message in person. There are many little things you can incorporate into your routine that will decrease the time you spend sedentary.
To further improve your glutes at home you can try the ‘Glute Bridge’ exercise. Combined with regular exercise, the glute bridge will help to isolate and strengthen the gluteal muscles and also enhance core stability.
To start this exercise, lie on your back with your arms by your side, knees bent and feet at hip width apart.
- Lock on that core by drawing the belly button down, whilst still maintaining your breath and a small arch in the lower back.
- Squeeze your butt and slowly raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line. At this point check in with the knee alignment and make sure they don’t bow in or out. If this happens you can squeeze a rolled towel or small soft ball between the knees during the exercise.
- Lastly, hold the bridge at the top for 3-5 seconds and slowly lower down.
Repeat this for 15-20 times and complete three sets every day for the best results.