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Contributed by
Sally Guest

Sally is a registered osteopath, sport scientist and clinic director of MK Osteopath & Associates based in Central Milton Keynes. Sally leads a team of experts in musculoskeletal injury and has been providing the people of MK with solutions to their pain and discomfort for more than 18 years. Osteopathy is a safe and effective system of assessment, diagnosis and treatment of most aches and pains, not just spines!
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Whilst sporting injuries had always been the primary source of business in our clinic we have seen a sharp rise in complaints arising from tech use, screen scrolling and generally sitting behind a desk for too long.

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog then you’ll probably be reading from a screen, laptop, tablet or even mobile device. Take a second to think about how you’re sitting, are you slumping? Are you leaning to one side or perching on your chair? How do you feel, is anything aching or sore? Is there a burning sensation in your shoulders or your back? Are you relaxed, hungry, thirsty, angry or stressed? Take a deep breath, lower your shoulders and let me give you a few quick tips.

We can’t reduce the pain of Mondays but we can reduce your desk ache!

Are you sitting comfortably?

Do you have a decent chair?
This is important but don’t go rushing off to buy the most expensive executive chair you can find, it’s worthless if you haven’t set it up right.

Start with the seat cushion, can you tilt it? You should have your hips slightly higher than your knees, (which helps to prevent that familiar slump position we all know well) your feet flat on the floor and your low back supported either by the curve of the chair or by putting a small cushion or rolled up towel in the curve you have created by tilting your seat.

If you have arm rests, use them. Ditto for a headrest, if you can support your neck and your low back, when it comes to the point where you’re engrossed in your work and your body relaxes you will now be relaxed in a supported position.

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Are you drinking enough water?

This tip kills two birds with one stone.

We all know the health benefits of upping the H2O (eliminates toxins, balances hormones, boosts immunity, increases energy, gives you glowing skin, reduces dehydration stress) but how many of us really get enough hydration? We are not designed to sit all day so why not get up and take yourself to a cold tap to refill your reusable water bottle a few times a day?

I bet you haven’t moved at all while you’ve been reading this?!

These 4 desk hacks will help you bring that movement back.

  • Schedule movement – Remind your body it can move. Setting timers on your desktop or smartphone can help you make those habits stick.
  • Every time you look at the clock, longing for lunch time or home time – roll your shoulders
  • Every time your inbox pings with yet another email – stand up to read it.
  • Every hour, on the hour – reach up to the ceiling with both arms, take a deep breath and stretch. Do this and blood will flood your tissue with lots of lovely oxygen and ease away the tension. Expanding your lungs may boost your brain power. Your shoulders will thank you for it later.

We see patients who don’t have the luxury of leaving their desks for hours at a time and the most successful results we have seen come from simple changes. Follow these simple steps (and you might even find your concentration improves too!)

– Sally