Adjusting to this new hybrid lifestyle hasn’t been easy. Often our new routines not only include excessive hours at the computer without interruptions but access to a lot of delicious food, horizontal bingeing, and restricted physical activity, which can quickly negatively affect our bodies.
LOWER BACK AND HIPS PAIN
Complaints of lower back pain and hip tightness are on the rise, due to our less-than-active lives. The lower back is naturally curved inward; when it takes on an unnatural position for an extended amount of time, it can cause fatigue of the muscular tissues, leading to lower back pain. Sitting on a couch or bed working all day or just watching TV for weeks or months will eventually overload the hips, causing them to become tighter and less mobile.
The best ways to release tension and relax those muscles is to move often and take make sure you have a daily walk to stretch and release muscle tightness. Yoga is also a great way to remove lower back tension; the upward dog pose is perfect in releasing the hips of our weight and giving the lower and upper back a deep stretch.
The idea of working from home seems like a great change for our health and wellbeing, especially for those working in crowded offices. Unfortunately, the reality of working from home can be more challenging than expected. From sharing small apartments to hectic home-schooling days, finding a quiet room equipped to work can be difficult.
Many have been using their couches or chairs as desks, hunching over their computers and neglecting their spinal health. If a desk at a proper height is not available, or a chair with good back support is missing from the house, practise some hip-flexor stretches. Hip-flexor stretches release lower back tension, while regular standing breaks improve overall circulation.
We look at our phones and technology every day. Every year, the average screen time has increased for most people. The combination of collective stress and anxiety, with increased screen time and a lack of movement has caused many to experience headaches and neck/shoulder tightness. The more our heads strain down to read from a phone or computer screen, the more weight our necks need to support. This can cause tension-type headaches and neck pain.
To strengthen the neck muscles, stand with your back and head against a wall, tucking in the chin and gently pushing the head back, using the wall for resistance. Hold for three seconds, then release for three seconds, and repeat 10-15 times.
Try some easy at-home stretches and vary your posture and position every hour. Take advantage of daily walks to breathe in fresh oxygen and get your legs moving. Small but targeted changes to our daily routine can help us stay away from muscle pains.