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Trainer’s Tip: Relieving Back Pain


Practical tips from Annie Lawler to help staff guard against back pain.

If people are able to take breaks to go and smoke a cigarette, it also makes sense to take breaks to ensure you relieve back pain. Don't forget that if, in the short term you don't take breaks and take the pressure off your spine, the long-term result may be that you have to take much more time off, which in turn affects productivity adversely. You'll also find that you concentrate better and will work more productively if you take regular breaks, so be careful not to fall into a short-term strategy that does not work effectively long term.

A short break away from the desk for a few minutes every hour can help. Here are a few tips :

1) Sit properly at your work station to relieve strain on the spine. Both feet should be flat on the floor (not crossed), the forearms should be resting at waist height on the desk and you should make sure that your bottom is right back into the back of the chair seat (resist the temptation to perch on the edge).

2. Every hour, take a few minutes break to make a coffee, go and talk to someone or just to get some fresh air. Whilst there, gently and slowly do a few shoulder rolls and head rolls to release tension in the neck, shoulders and spine.

3. Breathe! I know it sounds ridiculous, but few of us know how to breathe properly to relieve tension. As often as you remember, take a deep breath into the belly (most of us only breathe into the chest. Push your belly out as you breathe in so that the diaphragm moves and pull the tummy in as you breathe out. Make the outbreath twice as long as the breath in. This clears a lot of tension and toxins from the body. Two or three of these breaths regularly can make a huge difference to relieving tension. If you find you are aching or stiff, visualise breathing into tat specific area using this deep breathing technique and you'll find you start to notice tension releasing.

4. Drinks loads of mineral water throughout the day (preferably room temperature - it's kinder on the stomach). This helps relieve tension and releases toxins that build when we are stressed and tense. It also aids concentration and memory.

5. If possible, keep a window open and turn off the air-conditioning. You'll get more oxygen and will be healthier and more alert.


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