My Favorite Workplace Exercise

So many of us have difficulty with neck and back pain while at work.


Whether you are sitting at a desk for work or you have a more physical job, chances are you are spending a lot of your day with your arms out in front of you and your head forward. 

This can create a pattern of tightness in the pecs, upper traps and muscles at the base of your skull while leaving the muscles in the front of your neck and mid back weak. This pattern will leave your body sore and achy and can lead to joint dysfunction if not corrected. 

The National Institute of Health found that hyperkyphosis (an excessive rounding of the mid back) associated with a rounding of the shoulders and forward head position, can "impair pulmonary function and activities of daily living performance, reduce quality of life, and predict mortality.." along with "contributing to degenerative changes of the spine". These are serious issues, but what can be done?
 

There are TWO things that I suggest to correct this pattern of dysfunction: 

1. Get Adjusted

2. Practice Bruegerr's Relief Position

This simple exercise can be done over and over at work with great ease. Let me show you how it goes:



1. Pull shoulder blades together in the back. Like you are trying to crush a can between them.

2. Keep shoulders down. They will want to raise, keep them down. 

3. Pull chin backward. So that your head is directly over your shoulders.

4. Breathe deeply. Hold for 5 seconds. 

This will likely feel odd at first. If your body is used to a pattern of poor posture it will resist changing that at first, your body is a very efficient machine! So keep practicing, the frequency of this exercise is the key to its success. You are looking to rewire some patterns you have developed over a long period of time so repetition will be very important. 

If you can do this 10 times per day you will begin to see results. 10 times per day at 5 seconds per round is less than a minute a day! I promise you, you have the time.