Simple workplace tips to ease those aches and pains…29th November 2017
Man goes to the doctor’s
Doctor: How can I help you?
Man: Yes doctor. It hurts when I do this (the man raises his right arm above his head)
Doctor: Don’t do it then!
What’s my point?
That many of us in the workplace are carrying out repetitive actions at computers, in cars, and machinery that over time can cause aches and pains. However, unlike the man in the joke and the doctor’s advice, we can’t just stop these actions otherwise we couldn’t work, pay the mortgage… I’m being a bit dramatic, but you get my jest.
So how do we help ourselves?
By becoming more aware of our bodies and what we are doing with them in the work environment.
I tell my clients to do a body check as often as they can throughout the working day.
Just take a few minutes out. Step back from what you are doing and if you are able, move away from your work area and walk around.
Take a few deep breaths to get some oxygen into your lungs and walk don’t dawdle.
As you walk make a point of being aware of what your body is telling you. Our bodies tell us so much and most of the time we don’t listen until things get too uncomfortable and affect our daily lives. This can be prevented by simply being vigilant and taking care of yourself. Are you experiencing aches and pains?
What’s going on?
If you are aching, take yourself to that place in your body and think about what you are doing that may be causing discomfort to happen. It may be a repetitive action you’re doing or in other cases, your body may have been stuck in the same position for a long period of time.
Another thing you can do is go to the loo and do a bit of light stretching (Please check this is ok if you have medical conditions). Yes, I know this sounds weird, but it can really help.
Lock yourself in a cubicle and do some light stretching of your back, neck and shoulders. I say light, because, unless you regularly stretch you need to take it slow and steady at first. Please be aware that the neck should be treated with respect, no mad quick neck rolls that will make your head drop off, just slow and steady. And, under no circumstances contort yourself into a position you can’t get out of. That will be hard to explain to the paramedics and the boss!
The whole point of this is to feel refreshed when you return to your workplace.
Also, and one thing most of us tend to forget, is to drink plenty water. So many of us don’t drink enough of the stuff and we become dehydrated and this can lead to aches and pains in muscles and joints.
Now return to your work area, but before you settle back in, make a mental note as to when you would like to check out your body’s messages again. Obviously be sensible and don’t take the mick.
It may also depend on whether your job enables you to take time out. However, a few stretches on a loo break won’t go amiss.
Try to be mindful of your body as you are working. There’s are word we are becoming more familiar with ‘mindfulness’ meaning ‘to be in the moment’. Be in the moment with your body. You have it for life. Take care of it.
At lunch time, give yourself a break from the work environment. Go outside for a breath of fresh air and if possible, a brisk walk to invigorate yourself and get some energy back. If you can, do this in a group, it becomes a social as well as a wellbeing experience. And who knows who you may meet along the way!
Hope this helps some of you who brave the work environment every day. Take care.
(Acknowledgement: Doctor joke attributed to Tommy Cooper and writers sought but unknown.)