Beat those posture aches and pains from sitting at a desk too long with some simple stretches

Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 at 3:48 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Sitting at a desk all day can be uncomfortable. Many of us know those aches and pains from a hunched posture all too well.

The 9News Alert at 4 team spoke with a Baton Rouge area physical therapist, who shows how you and your children can feel your best while at a desk.

“If you’re at your normal office desk, you’re often going to end up in this position,” said Luke Bunch at Peak Performance Physical Therapy in Mid City, demonstrating a hunched over posture.

As a physical therapist, Bunch sees it and treats it often. Posture aches and pains in adults and children are common from sitting at a desk for too long.

“Having curvatures in your spine this way is natural,” Bunch demonstrated. “Having all of your spine being round is unnatural.”

Bunch acts out the good and bad ways to sit and stand, saying people all of ages can experience discomfort just from their everyday habits.

“If we can teach a young kid, a young athlete, or even an adult sitting at their desk, then they may not be set up to develop as much chronic pain,” said Bunch.

To tackle those lower back pains and neck strains, the PT says try to wiggle around a bit.

“The first thing you can do is just move. Don’t stay in the same position for a long period of time,” he said.

Bunch explains our bodies slouch because we want to use less energy. It actually requires more energy to sit up straight, so we tend to slump down and melt into our chairs.

“Probably the best place to start is by bringing that arch back into your lower back. So as you do that, you can see automatically my shoulders come back. So as I arch my lower back, my shoulders come back and then I bring my chin down,” said Bunch.

The therapist even recommends placing a pillow or rolled up towel behind your lower back. This is to remind you or your kiddo to keep that small arch in your back present.

Neck soreness is common too, especially when staring at a computer screen. Bunch suggests some light stretching.

“Sit up tall again, bring your chin halfway down, and with this one, you’re going to look to either side and you’re going to bring your head straight down. With this one you can come over the top and pull,” said Bunch.

As for lower back pains, Bunch says some yoga poses and stretches are great to relieve those aches as well.

These are just a few ways to encourage your kids to focus more on schoolwork and less on aches and pains.

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