Whether you are at work or at home, it is common to feel stress and tension. We are often called on to do more tasks with fewer resources and are faced with more responsibility and faster deadlines. Mounting pressures may place the health of your spine at risk. In fact many people report escalated levels in their back pain as their stress levels increase. Find out what works best for you and take small steps to reduce your stress levels to improve your overall well being.
- Rest: Take frequent breaks during the work hour and choose activities to help clear your mind such as deep breathing, walking, meditating or exercising
- Relaxation: Take a load off. Lie back and turn down the lights. Breath slowly and deeply, allowing your abdomen to rise and fall rhythmically. Using visual imager can aid in relaxation. Try to visualize each muscle relaxing one after another.
- Recovery: Repeated and prolonged activities can take their toll if your body does not get a chance to recover. Recovery helps repair sore, aching tissues keeping them healthy.
Here are some additional tips you can use to avoid tension at work and keep your back and neck healthy:
- Be Relaxed - try to keep your muscles relaxed. To stay relaxed, look relaxed.
- Pace Yourself - keep an even keel. Avoid sudden changes in your workload. Try to avoid last minute "panics" to meet deadlines.
- Take a Break - take a thirty second "microbreak" every twenty to thirty minutes to do some deep breathing and a few exercises. Take a few minutes each hour to do some exercises, get a drink, or go bug a coworker. Use your lunch break to take a nap or a walk.
- Change Positions - avoid holding your neck, trunk, or limbs still for a long time. Plan ways to get the job done using different positions. Sit for a bit, then stand.
- Rotate Duties - rotating or sharing tasks can be fun by offering a new work setting while giving your body a chance to recover.
- Avoid Caffeine and Tobacco - caffeine and tobacco can increase stress, reduce blood flow, and increase your awareness of back and neck pain.