Marpole Physio Theme of the Month:

Work and Health!

Prolonged sitting creates problems for office workers and drivers.  Whether you are in front of a television, computer or behind a steering wheel, we as human beings are not meant to remain in a relatively fixed and sedentary position for long durations.  We all need to take breaks to do appropriate exercises and to balance work with an active lifestyle.

At Marpole Physiotherapy Clinic we treat problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. The problem with such pain is that it has many contributing factors and has taken weeks, months, if not years to develop. When a patient presents with symptoms such as neck, back and arm pain from prolonged sitting, the treatment must address the muscle imbalances that have developed.  Your physiotherapist will prescribe you stretches and exercises to counter the effects of prolonged sitting.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Take frequent breaks (i.e. every 30 minutes to one hour) to do appropriate, brief exercises and stretches, and not just a walk to the coffee machine.  See below to find some stretches that work great for sitting occupations.

2. Choose an aerobic activity or exercise you enjoy (like walking, swimming, cross-country skiing, jogging, and racquet sports) to counter your sitting posture during work hours.

3. Avoid positions or activities that require more sitting or slouching after work. For example, watching TV or reading in a sitting position are not good activities after a 10 hour a day of administrative computer work.  Why not go for a walk after a long day of work?

Book an appointment with one of our therapists to learn about appropriate exercises specifically tailored for you and your job requirements. Should you have symptoms, it is important to have them assessed prior to the onset of any exercise program. Our physiotherapists can also evaluate your workstation and make recommendations to optimize your posture while working.

Marpole Physiotherapy Clinic
Movement for Life!




Upper back stretches

1. Wall Stretch
Standing against a wall raise your straight arms as high as possible until you feel a stretch in the middle to upper back. Palms face the ceiling, then the wall above you. Hold at end range for 10 seconds, then slowly lower arms, repeat 10 times.

2. Doorway Stretch
Arms on doorway at elbow height. Place one foot through the doorway. Lean chest and hips through doorway until you feel a stretch in the upper chest. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat twice.

Neck rotation

Turn head slowly to look over left shoulder then turn to look over right shoulder. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Do 3 sessions per day.

Neck Stretches (if rotation is full)

1. Levator Scapula and Extensor Muscles
While tilting head to the left, pull right arm down with left hand until gentle stretch is felt in the neck. Repeat to other side. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 2 times. Do 3 sessions per day.

2. Upper Trapezius Muscles
Grasp arm above wrist and pull downward and across body while gently tilting head until a gentle stretch is felt in the neck. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 2 times. Do 3 sessions per day.