Danny Williams, the Travelling Osteopath, explains how to take better care of your back
It is important to take frequent breaks during your working day and to avoid sitting for more than one hour at a time. In the course of a working day you should take a mini-exercise break (lasting one or two minutes) once every hour and a longer break (three to five minutes) every two or three hours. The following exercises can reduce both fatigue and the risk of developing an injury. They can be done during short or long breaks. Do each stretch three-to-five times before moving on to the next exercise.
Stand in a doorway or corner with both arms on the wall slightly above your head. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
While sitting in a chair, clasp both arms behind your head. Gently arch backward and look up toward the ceiling.
Arm slides on wall
Sit or stand against a wall with your elbows and wrists against the wall. Slowly slide your arms upwards as high as you can while keeping your elbows and wrists against the wall.
While sitting or standing with your arms by your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for five seconds.
With one hand, help to bend the wrist on your other hand down by pressing the back of your hand and holding it down for 15 to 30 seconds. Next, stretch the hand back by pressing the fingers in a backward direction and holding it for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch and stretch the other wrist.
Upper trapezius stretch
The upper trapezius muscle connects your shoulder to your head. Sitting in an upright position, put your right arm behind your back and gently grasp the right side of your head with your left hand to help tilt your head to the left. You will feel a gentle stretch on your right side. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch and stretch the other side.
This stretches the neck muscles that attach to your ribs. Sitting in an upright position, clasp both hands behind your back, lower your left shoulder and tilt your head toward the right. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then come back to the starting position. Lower you right shoulder and tilt your head toward the left until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
To contact Danny Williams call the Third Space Medical Centre on 020 7439 7332 or visit www.thetravellingosteopath.com