The epidemiology of this new condition works roughly as follows: the average victim works 40 or more hours a week chained to a desk, eyes glued to a computer screen, often dehydrated (but fully tanked up on coffee), often eating lunch distractedly at the desk; once or at best twice a week, he or she will spring up at 5.30pm, and scurry off to join a few fellow enthusiasts/potential victims for an hour of intense (and competitive) five-a-side football – or net-ball or cricket or etc. Of course there is no time to warm up before the exertion, and whoever would want to mention a stretching session after the game when the team is headed for the local pub?
Needless to say, this very modern scenario is fertile soil indeed for every musculoskeletal injury in the book: acute necks, rotator cuff strains, rib subluxation, back joint facet locks, pelvic girdle injuries, hamstring tears, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis… the butcher’s list goes on.
Yes of course this is good for osteopathic business, and yes we can treat almost all of these injuries so that we can speedily return the part-time athlete to his/her next session of self-abuse, but… why not try and pre-empt this scenario with a few common-sense preventive measures?
We would recommend the following:
- Try and avoid long working sessions seated – consider varying between working seated and standing, and interest your employer in stand-up desks. Desk models that appear both effective and affordable might include the Uplift 900 electrically adjustable desk or the Up- Desk Up-Right model.
- Do Bridge to Health’s desk exercises 3-4 times a day - password is flex.
- Drink water at regular intervals, aiming for 1.5L a day – but use a small glass at your desk and go and fill it from the most distant water-well in your office – if possible three floors up!
- Eat lunch away from your desk – always! And come to that, aim to take a 15-20 minute power stroll before lunch… and invite the colleagues you would have otherwise needed to sit down and meet with. Walking together yields quality brainstorming, and voice technology on phones can record the great ideas and decisions!
- Take advice on an alkaline and well-balanced diet that will support high performance sport – find out contact details for our Nutritionists here
- Aim for two weekly sessions vs one of whatever team sport you practice. One session is an injury hazard, two is closer to physical exercise!
- Get rigorous about a 10-15 minute whole-body warm-up before the session, and a 10-15 whole-body stretch routine after – and encourage your team in doing same.
- Consider at least one – if not two – sessions of either pilates, yoga, tai chi etc – i.e. an activity that favours general body flexibility, mobility and core stability – in support of your team sport.