Aches and pains… could it be that you’re just getting older, or that you’re less active, perhaps? Maybe it’s just a temporary phase in your life. You’ll grow out of it, right? The truth is, aches and pains are often associated with daily, ongoing, habitual mistakes. Take note of the word habitual – habits are key to understanding precisely why we experience certain discomforts during the day. If you’re one of the millions of people that have a desk job, and you’re also one of the millions who experience daily discomfort, it’s time to retrace your steps and reprogram your habits. Take a look:
Desk jobs are often some of the most stressful positions in society, not only because of the immense responsibility afforded them, but also because of the physical pressure that type of daily routine places on the body.
Oftentimes a desk job is underscored by a vigorous 9-5 schedule, and as you may know, that schedule leaves very little time for you to take note of your body and your habits. More often than not, you’re probably stuck in traffic on your way to work, you’re slightly late, you’ve possibly missed breakfast, you work right into lunch, and then you rush home for dinner with the family. Granted, not all your days look like this, but on average this might be what you deal with on a daily basis.
It comes as no surprise that you’re suffering from daily aches and pains. Sitting in the car, at the desk, at home, and during meals, impacts your health greatly. And furthermore, an unhealthy diet might be spurring on the discomfort. Even worse, you may not be drinking as much fluids as you should be, or maybe you’re substituting water with coffee. All these things add up. Our bodies are not made to withstand bad habits for too long.
The good news is, however, things can change. It may seem impossible right now, but take a look at just some of the ways in which you can change your daily-routine for the better, even as you’re reading this:
1. Make time in the morning. We know that getting up may be tough, but the early hours of the morning really do give you the best chance to lay a powerful foundation for the day. Take just 20 minutes after you get up to be silent, stretch, drink a cup of tea, meditate, or even read. Make that time yours, and the habits you create thereafter with be healthier and fruitful.
2. Take a look at your transportation. How far from work do you live? Do you have to drive? Could you challenge yourself to ride your bike? Any form of exercise you can incorporate into your day is a massive step towards relieving pain. The more you move, the better you feel. If you can avoid the traffic and the hours of sitting in the car, you’ll notice an amazing difference right of the bat.
3. Water, water, water! Throughout your day it’s vital that you note how much water you’re drinking. If your joints and muscles aren’t lubricated, you’ll experience pain. Why not set yourself little reminders? Drink 8 oz of water on the hour, ever hour, for example. Ultimately, you need to drink about 10 cups a day – challenge yourself to meet that goal.
4. Walk. And while we’re on the subject of water, why not meld two habits into one? Every time you drink some water, get up, walk around, and stretch a bit. In this way, you’re killing two birds with one stone. Walk to the water cooler, for example. Or if you’re adventurous, why not head to the kitchen and create a water-based drink with lemon or strawberries? Again, movement is vital, and the more you move, the faster you’ll heal.
5. Posture matters. When you’re seated at your desk, it’s very important that you take note of your posture. Slouching, or sitting with an unsupported lower back, will eventually lead to pain. Make sure your desk isn’t too low and that your computer screen is at eye level. In this way you will prevent slouching and forward head movements, both of which could lead to problems down the line. Also, why not stretch every 20 minutes? In this way, you’ll prevent stiffness and future discomfort.
6. Dietary needs. All too often we assume that what we do is most important. And while this might hold some truth, what we eat is equally as vital. The food you consume fuels your brain and body, so the better you eat the more productive and healthy you will be. And not only that, food heals. Eating more anti-inflammatory foods, healthy snacks, dark greens, nuts, and seeds, will help you relieve those aches and pain much sooner. Be sure to start with a healthy breakfast and to continue with your snacking, lunch and dinner in the same way. Also, cut out some of the caffeine if you can – it can lead to anxiety and stress, both of which contribute to pain.
7. You are my sunshine! Unfortunately, unless you work at Google, desk jobs don’t really come with too much time spent outside. That having been said, you can make the change. Why not get outside and eat your lunch in a park? Or, better still, take a little stroll and explore the area around you? Getting some vital Vitamin D, naturally, is imperative for a healthy body and mind. You’ll also find that the sunshine vitamin helps improve your mood, thereby making the decision to create better habits that much easier!
So, there you have it. Desk jobs don’t need to be a ticket to old-age, in fact, they offer a unique opportunity to change your habits for the better. By using the tools you have around you, by utilizing your time, and by noting the needs of your body, you’ll make serious headway into getting ridding of those aches and pains. Make your habits count!
If you’re still unsure about how to tackle daily aches and pain, why not give us a call, and tell us about your situation. One of our dedicated and qualified physical therapists will be happy to listen to your story and answer all your questions. Physical therapy is the fastest, most effective way to getting back to health, and we encourage you to make the change! We look forward to hearing from you.