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Office Health and Productivity: How to Avoid Pain and Tension.


As a Physiotherapist based in the City of London the majority of my patients are office based. Their work is often a contributing factor to the cause of their injury or restricts the amount of time that they can spend on recovery. Here are my top tips on preventing pain and stress at work and improving your office health, as well as exercises and stretches you can easily do at work.


Work Station Assessment and Adjustments


Your chair

Your chair should be tilted slightly back, not bolt upright and the bottom of your spine and pelvis supported into a concave shape.  The seat should be set so that your thighs are sloping down slightly with a small space between the back of your knees and the chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a block or footrest.

Your desk

 The keyboard should be close to the edge of the desk and the mouse as centred as possible so your arms are at the side of your body. Desk height should enable your elbows to be 90 degrees and your legs  to be tucked under the desk.

The screen

With the screen at eye level and close enough to the body you should want to lean back into your chair. Keep your chin tucked in and use a centred sloped board for documents.


Top Three Exercises and Stretches


Chair twist (watch video 67)

Sitting in an upright position turn your body to reach around and grab the sides of the back of the chair. Keep your feet on the floor and pull yourself gently around to slowly rotate your back. Make sure it is completely pain free. Do the same in the other direction. Repeat x 10.

Pelvic tilts in sitting (watch video 46)

Shuffle forwards to give yourself space. Create a concavity in your lower back by tipping your pelvis forwards and then flatten and round your back the other way by tucking your tail bone under. Repeat x 10.

Breathing techniques (watch video 78)

Put your hand just above your belly button. Think about gently drawing the air into this area as you breathe in and fully emptying the air from here as you breathe out. Focus on breathing out more than in. Normal breaths, not deep breaths.

Repeat x 10. When you get home lie on a foam roller and do the same.


Stress reduction and resilience


Get moving

Move your legs and arms while sitting at your desk. Stand up and walk on the spot when you are on the phone. Walk around the office or up and down the stairs. Get outside and look up. Incorporate regular exercise into your weekly routine. The more you move the better you will feel.

Mind tricks

Every day: write down three good things about your day, commit three random acts of kindness, consciously wish the best for others, appreciate the things you have control over and accept those you don’t.

Last but not least…

Eat well and sleep. If sleep doesn’t come easily then just rest.


I hope you found that useful. If you want to learn more about our corporate services including in house workshops and work station assessments or to book a Physiotherapy, Osteopathy or Massage appointment now please call or email.

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