Avoid Working from Home Injuries with These Stretches

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With many Australians working from home due to the ongoing COVID lockdowns you may have found that you have aches and pains in places you usually wouldn’t, as we aren’t using our muscles and joints how we usually would. 

Whether you’re propped up at a kitchen table or another temporary workstation, you may not have the same supportive setup that you would in an office. You may find that your shoulders, neck or back are hurting after long days spent sitting down awkwardly.

These kinds of aches and pains can actually make us more uncomfortable and less productive. 

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can avoid working from home injuries with these stretches.

  • Pelvic tilts – either standing tall or laying on the ground with knees bent up and feet flat on the floor – Inhale as the pelvis tilts forward, creating an arch in the lower back, then exhale to press the lower back into the floor, scooping the pelvis and tail between the legs. Repeating
  • Rag doll (lower back stretch) – standing tall with arms hanging at the side – tucking the chin and rolling/ lowering upper body down towards the floor, unstacking the spine and arms dangling towards the ground. Knees are soft or slight bent. Just hang there for 60 seconds+  
  • Swan Dive – lying prone on the floor (on your stomach) with arms in a cactus position (elbows at a 90 degree angle at shoulder height), squeeze your butt and press your pelvis into the ground, engage the legs and reach with the toes. Then on an inhale lift the head, chest and shoulder from the ground whilst pressing the forearms into the floor, eyes look upwards on a 45 degree angle. 
  • Neck Stretch – sitting up tall on a chair and feet firmly on the floor – sit on top of one of your hands and then tilt the head towards the other shoulder. The free hands can then be gently placed onto the side of the head to ease the stretch a bit more. 
  • Hip flexor stretch – it can be hard to activate your glutes and this can lead to lower back whilst the added pressure of sitting down all day at your temporary work station, try going down on one knee and leaning forward, stretching the front of the back leg to stretch out your hips
  • Cow / Cat stretch – on the floor on all fours, rounding and sloping the back (flexing & extending the spine) – this will assist with spinal mobility and is good for your posture and breathing, it also helps to open out through the lungs and chest
  • Chest stretch – interlock your fingers behind you. Interlock your fingers near your butt. Your back should still be straight. Push your arms up while pulling your shoulder blades together. Slowly push your interlocked fingers up, towards the ceiling. Inhale as your arms go up and exhale and hold the position once your arms can’t go any further. 

Trying doing these stretches daily to reduce the pressure we are putting on our bodies.

Amie Skinner, Head of Training, KX Pilates