Slouching over the kitchen table > sitting up straight
Translated by Thomas Ansell
If you’ve found yourself crunching, clicking, and shrimping your way through the day recently, you’re not alone. Physiotherapists across Friesland have been experiencing large numbers of new clients, reports the Omrop Fryslân. Sybo Offenga, a physio in Leeuwarden, has a completely full diary at the moment: “every gap is filled with Coronavirus-related complaints; we’re busier than ever!”.
With more and more people working from home, Offenga’s phone has been ringing off the hook: “we have seen a big increase in interest since the beginning of the Coronavirus”, he says, “what we see mostly are neck, shoulder, and back complaints due to people spending long periods in the wrong position. They end up cramping, which is because they don’t have a good work place at home. They sit on the sofa with their laptop, or sit at the kitchen table and then have various complaints relating to tense muscles.”
It’s not just a bad home office that’s responsible, says Offenga: “it’s also because people spend more time continuously working at home; they aren’t going to speak to colleagues, or walking around the office. People spend too long sitting in the same position. A good chair is obviously important but you can sit badly on a good chair. People must remember not to sit in the same position for too long”.
As for tips to help with home-working back and shoulder problems, Offenga suggests more breaks and movement: “set a cooking timer, so that every half an hour you take a ‘micro-break’ and move about. Make sure that you have time to go for a mid-day walk, and do stretches regularly to keep your back supple. Stand up, turn your head to look over each shoulder, look up and down; roll your shoulders. Through sitting for too long, you can cut off circulation”.