Over the last year, the pandemic forced many people to switch from working in well laid-out and equipped offices to working from home. Some of you may even still be working from your kitchen tables. As massage therapists, we are frequently asked about how to avoid the recurring pain that creeps up as a result of less than ideal physical work environments.
I am not an ergonomics specialist, by any means, but I can offer clients some tips that may help reduce repetitive stress injuries. While creating a space that keeps our body in the most neutral position possible can be helpful, if you stay in any position long enough, it’s going to create problems. Try to incorporate frequent movement into your work routine. Even just a mild stretch or movement through our full range-of-motion can flush out metabolic waste and bring fresh blood to our tissue so it can continue to meet demand without fatiguing. Here are a few of my favorites.
Look over each shoulder
Tilt head side to side
Head circles each direction
Wrist circles both directions
Flex wrist with closed hand
Extend wrist with open hand
Shoulder circles forward and back
This little list of movements can be done once or twice an hour to really help support our muscles and structure when we are relying on them so much. I’ve included a link (below) to a video with a great condensed list of tips to try out at your workstation – wherever it might be. But remember, no matter how well thought-out your physical work environment is, our muscles require movement, so multiple mini breaks and regular exercise are always your best bets to keep your muscles happy.
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