How Stretching Can Prevent Pain at Work
Stretching isn’t just a warm-up for exercise, it can also help prevent workplace injuries and back and body strain due to our 40-plus hour workweeks. You don’t have to find 30 extra minutes in your day; most stretching exercises can be done while you work.
Preventing Injury in Physically Strenuous Jobs
Being on your feet all day, lifting repeatedly or using the same motion over and over on an assembly line can cause muscle strain, injuries and long-term pain and disability. We don’t always have control over how our workday will go, but the little steps we take to prevent injury and care for ourselves can make a big difference. If you have a strenuous job, think of it as one long workout. Warming up your muscles before you start, can prevent sudden strains and sprains.
Get to work 5, 10 or 15 minutes earlier and walk around your building a few times to get your blood flowing. Do some dynamic stretching before you start heavy lifting or do some targeted stretching of certain body parts that you know you’ll use in repetitive motions throughout the day. By lunchtime, you may feel sore and tired, so take that break to refuel and then do some light exercises or stretching again before starting back to work.
Not only does this help prevent muscle strains and sprains, but it also can help you focus more on the tasks you need to complete and the signals your body gives you while working. If you suddenly feel your neck stiffening, that could be a sign that your posture is off and it’s time to relax the tension in your neck and shoulders by doing some simple neck rolls and shoulder rolls.
Limiting the Suffering Caused by Sitting at the Office
You may have heard people say “sitting is the new smoking.” Sitting for long periods, as office workers often do, can wreak havoc on your body—causing neck, shoulder and back pain, and having a negative effect on your overall health. What are you supposed to do, though, if you’re not allowed to leave your desk for most of the day?
Luckily, there are many stretches you can do at your desk without disrupting your work. If you type a lot, take at least a few minutes each hour to stretch your wrists, hands and fingers. Stand up during calls where you just have to listen and respond, not type. Did you know that even doing simple shoulder shrugs can help you relieve tension that causes neck and back pain? No matter how busy you are, you can fit that in.
Whether you work outdoors or indoors, in an office, in a warehouse or at a construction site, there are little things you can do to prevent and relieve daily pain. These little things add up and they don’t take much time from your day.
You can also keep stick packs of BC® Powder in your desk, locker, purse or pocket if you need some pain relief to get you through to the end of the day. Try BC® Original and BC® Cherry for headaches and back and body pain.