Spinal Health for the Modern Lifestyle // Physiotherapist Madeleine Hicks

Spinal Health for the Modern Lifestyle 

By Maddie Hicks

Deskbound? Headaches? Back stiffness?

Most of us are aware we spend more of the day sitting than we should. It can be challenging, to say the least, to keep moving around during the day when you have work demands and tasks to get done, then you get home and are exhausted… so you sit some more. 

Can you relate?

If yes, I’m prepared to speculate your neck and back feel stiff, stuck, and even sore at times. Getting up and moving around every half hour for two minutes can significantly improve your spinal health (read Catherine’s blog on that topic here). 

Additionally, setting up your desk in the most ergonomic way possible and correcting or balancing your sitting posture with some exercises will aid in comfort and mobility. 

The only “bad posture” is the one you are in all the time 

I love this quote! Bodies are strong, self-healing, and capable of incredible feats! Most positions you are able to put your body in are completely fine, however if you are always in the same posture that is when your body will start to complain. 

Try these exercises today and get your spine moving.

Shoulder rolls – lift the shoulders slowly and smoothly up towards the ears, circle them down and back, then forward and up. 8 circles each way.

Side stretch – one hand behind the head, other hand on lap or desk, reach your elbow straight up towards the ceiling. Big breath in and out, then return. Imagine space opening up between the ribs and growing taller each time. 6 each side.

Snow angels – stand with your back against the wall, reach your elbows and hands back towards the wall without letting the rest of your body come away. Slide them up as far as you can, bring them back down. Repeat 10 times.

Door stretches 

  • Forearm against the door frame and step the same leg forward to stretch out the pec muscles. This shouldn’t feel pinchy in the shoulder, adjust elbow height as needed. Hold for 30secs each side. 
  • Cling onto the frame as high as you can and hang your ribcage out to the side to get a nice stretch under the arm and along the side of the body.

Implement these today and your spine will thank you! I completely understand how the day can get away from you when you are absorbed in a task, so use technology to your advantage and set a phone reminder or link it in to a daily task. Go to the photocopier several times a day? Tea addict? Forever dropping into co-workers cubicles? Use these as your trigger to pick one of these exercises and tick it off for the day for some extra juicy spine mobility.

Don’t wait any longer! 

If you need a kickstart to get moving or would like to organise an ergonomic assessment, come in and see us!

Maddie x

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