Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

Postural Exercises: How much? How often?

Written by Mathieu Rossano   Posted in:Osteopathy   April 1, 2016

Postural Exercises: How much? How often?
Given that we spend much of our time helping patients recover from the self-inflicted injuries of sitting at a desk, it is not surprising that we find ourselves, as Osteopaths, encouraging them to perform exercises that aim to counter the effects of this dangerous activity!

The simplest definition for postural exercises is a workout sequence that can be performed at work or at home to mobilise limbs, muscles and organs remaining otherwise static and inactive, and that aims to counter counter the postural biases and damage inflicted on them by the working -  usually sitting - stance.

Inevitably two questions arise time and again, often with slight undertones of annoyance at the thought of the time that might be diverted from checking emails… “How much of this stuff must I do?” and “How often?”
I answer those questions with another straightforward question: “How often, and for how many hours, do you sit at a desk inflicting the postural damage that resulted in you visiting our clinic?”
The answer being more often five to six days a week for 8 to 10 hours a throw, the scale of the challenge is pretty obvious.
It also makes it easier for us to agree that postural exercises should be performed daily.

Beyond that,.. Bridge to Health has designed three specific exercise video sequences to help support people in the workplace fight the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and immobilism – NB the password to access all three videos is “flex”.

The first sequence (NB password = flex) is aimed at people that may seldom if ever get up from their seated work position.  It is a short 3 minute sequence that can be performed without leaving the desk, but which nonetheless engages the body from toe to head – including an eye exercise.  We would encourage people to perform it once in every two hours sat at the workstation – i.e. four times during an average working day – and use timed screen-savers to encourage them to perform the exercise before moving on with  work.

The second (NB password = flex) is targeted at people who may be privileged in working at standing desks, or who generally work standing up (e.g. factory floor, shop etc).  The routine is a little longer than the first sequence – 4-5 minutes – and we’d encourage people concerned to perform it twice a day.

Finally a third sequence  (NB password = flex) – more comprehensive, requiring some basic exercise equipment and lasting 15-20 minutes – is the typical routine a sedentary office worker (sitting or standing!) should consider doing either in the morning or evening to help the body fend off the effects of deskwork.

To those of you whose eyebrows are now raised at a “you can’t be serious!” angle, I would say: doing nothing is not an option, and doing less is merely kidding yourself that you can duck the inevitable consequences of long-term seated immobilism in the work place.  They will inexorably catch up with you, and you will be knocking on our door!

Questions? Protests? Remarks? Feel free to comment or to contact us!

Ealing Clinic : 020 3757 6544
Uxbridge Clinic: 01895 2000 50

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