Desk Job Pain

The world has certainly changed in the past two years. With more people now working from home at what cost is this on the human body? Before the pandemic struck there was certainly more movement in each person’s day. A commute to work whether that was by foot or just getting from their vehicle and walking to the office.  

From my own experience, I went from walking 15k steps a day to less than 300 at one point. I remember sitting at my kitchen table about 2 months in and noticed pains in my body that weren’t there before. What had happened?  

It’s a huge conversation but in short, the body just isn’t designed to sit. If you look at the human body when we are born, then we all mostly have a J-shape spine.  

But with sitting and moving away from the primal squat position, over time sitting will alter our spine to form an S-shape. And therefore, there are so many problems with lower back pain. Not only lower back pain but there can be several dysfunctions that can occur in the human body – all from sitting! 

Around two years ago, after many years of studying Strength and Conditioning. I wanted to go deeper into the body as a whole. Biomechanics, movement and Anatomy have always fascinated me.  

And being a bit of a geek with the human body I decided to study Human movement science. A human movement specialist could be compared to a therapist. And there are parts where integrated manual therapy can be applied.  

But an overview is that we look for dysfunction of the body. We use movement as medicine. Fixing dysfunction, compensation patterns, imbalance, mobility, flexibility, just to name a few benefits. 

This can be done from one exercise that shows movement across the body and with the changing world I have been able to do this over Zoom. 

Over the last year, I have had plenty of ex-athletes come in with pain that has been present for a long time. With no resolve despite seeing physiotherapists, Chiropractors and taking medication. If we can find the root cause of the problem, then it’s likely that the rest can be resolved.  

My client Ed told me that it was literally the last roll of the dice. He had tried several solutions, but it never progressed past a couple of days of relief. He had a double knee reconstruction from his Rugby playing days. Which had led to back problems since switching over to a desk job and long hours. This was stopping him from sleeping comfortably and even enjoying chasing his kids around. Always conscious of making things worse than having to manage pain. 

 

After our initial consult, he joined my 6-wee body fix program. And was out of pain in less than three weeks! 12 months later at the time of writing this article he’s lifting weight comfortably with zero pain, can sleep sound and chase his kids with no worries! 

 

My view on pain is that prevention is always better than cure. It’s about education and being aware of what the problems and possibilities could be. But with most jobs being sat down for long days this can have a huge impact on the body. Slow torture to the body. If we sit for long periods, then the body alters to adapt to what we give it. We were all born with the ability to use our bodies to sit. Just look at children when they sit whilst playing, A perfect squat position. And I have seen a lot of people who have forgotten how to use their bodies. The problem is the world has come a long day since the caveman days. Sitting at a desk is easier than the other way. I would like to think that the world hasn’t become lazy, but it seems we are looking for the easy solution to problems -Hacks! 

When we sit for long periods this can have dramatic effects on the pelvis and surrounding muscles that move the pelvis. Shortened hamstrings, weak abdominals and glutes, hyperextension in the lumbar spine, tight and shortened hip flexors. Posterior and anterior pelvic tilts are common. The imbalance of the pelvis leads to pain and problems. 
 

Another common problem from sitting at the desk is turtleneck syndrome (forward head posture). This can lead to cervical and shoulder pain, headaches and thoracic hyperkyphosis. The cause originates from being too dominant in the front (anterior) of the body and the back (posterior chain) becomes weak win certain muscles and overactive muscles can also become present. Most people would think to stretch the neck and back but that would not be the solution.  

 If you take a piece of blu-tack and keep stretching it, then eventually it will snap. The same applies to your muscles. They are already stretched from the shoulders and neck going into this forward head posture. The key is to release and lengthen the muscles in the anterior plane. Pectoral minor and major (chest muscles), Subscapularis (rotator cuff), the scalene muscles of the neck, and perhaps look the abdominal area, as this is usually tight because the ribs are pulling down connected with the tightness above.  

 And then activate and strengthen the muscles on the posterior chain. The Trapezius (upper and lower), Rhomboids and rear deltoids are usually the ones that need the most work. But in any case, an assessment would be best to determine any dysfunction. 

 There are many problems that sitting can bring on in posture. Generally, in my experience, most dysfunction starts in the pelvis and spreads throughout the chain of the body. Pain will often present itself in the weak areas of the chain. 

According to research, 30 per cent of all American deaths are caused by inactivity. 

But for most people, time spent at their desks sitting for long periods of time is a big part of the problem, but that’s just the norm for most people. My guidance would be to invest a little time each day to work on mobility and flexibility. Five to ten minutes a day can go a long way to the prevention of problems down the line. Taking regular breaks away from the desk and being aware of your posture whilst sitting is also key. 

I believe that there is not much in the way of regulations for people in the workplace and how they sit. But this is more of an education part that workplaces could bring in to help reduce Musculoskeletal related problems and time off work. In 2019 Musculoskeletal concerns was the second-highest, after mental health for lost time. Which cost employers billions of pounds.  
 

There are always choices to be made by people and how they choose to work. If we look at the past five years, we could say that the nation has become lazier and more reliant on internet services, where everything can be ordered at the click of a button. The science of the human body will always be the same. And it’s down to the individual to be educated on a healthier way of working. But some responsibility must be undertaken by employers if they want to see a decline in lost time due to those concerns. 

For people who have no choice but to sit for long periods my top 10 tips are. 

 

  • Take regular breaks. Stand up and move around.  
  • Drink water, hydration is important and if we become dehydrated then we are more likely to become lazy in posture 
  • Buy a small resistance band. There are plenty of stretches and mobility exercises you can do at your desk to help. 
  • Make time in the morning and after work. Incorporate some movement activity into your day to help prevent problems from arising.  
  • Be aware. Notice how you are sitting at your desk. Try and stay in an upright posture as much as possible. 
  • Set your desk up properly. Try and get your desk set up so that posture is more manageable throughout the day.  
  • Walk and talk. Try taking some of your calls whilst walking. This helps to build more energy and gets you away from the screen.  
  • Stand up desk. Invest in a stand-up desk. Sitting simply is no good for your body long term. 
  • Don’t let the pain continue. If you are in pain, then seek help. Pain is a warning sign that you need some attention before it gets worse. 
  • Pay attention to the posterior chain. The back of the body is important, yet often neglected. Adding strength exercises into your day can make a huge difference.  

 
We see a lot of companies offering benefits such as free gym memberships. But not many will take the offer up. Some have occupational health, but again this is a cure, not prevention. Employers could offer so much more to help. Having a dedicated professional coming in to educate and implement a program for awareness would go a long way. 
 

Education is what people lack. If someone is not aware of the problem then before they know it, it is too late. Old habits are hard to break, but it is possible to overcome and install new habits into our hardwiring in the brain.  

Everyone could benefit from working with a coach. It’s the same in any situation. A coach can see what the problems are individually and on a wider spread too. The most common problems will go across the entire company.  

 
With the recent pandemic and more people now working from home, this gives more issues. Some aren’t set up for ideal working conditions. Many people work from a kitchen table or just don’t have the office space required. So, having some sort of program in place to help educate and spread awareness would go a long way. 

As the body ages, we can compare it to our vehicles. They simply require more attention. It really doesn’t matter what age you are. It’s just sorting out those dysfunctions in the body. We are more suspectable to other problems such as arthritis, so taking extra care of the body is essential as we age.  

The good news in today's modern world is that there are plenty of apps available on our mobile devices to help with exercise. MobWod is a great one that really helps to improve posture, mobility and flexibility.  

If we can improve our posture, then productivity will increase! Pain in the body will always take that productivity and energy away from us. If you committed to just 5-10 minutes a day on improving your body posture, mobility and flexibility then keeping this pain away would bring huge results.  
 

Health and Business Success

Your Health is the Secret to Business Success

When running your own business, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of overworking; it can sometimes feel as if there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

However, everyone needs a break, and your mind and body have their own needs.

Unfortunately, not all business owners see it this way, and eventually, long hours a day in and day out will take their toll on your mental and physical health.

In other words, entrepreneurs often treat their bodies badly in exchange for success, by functioning on very little sleep, fuelling their body with bad food just so they can get back to what they were doing.

Living a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve your achievements both in and outside of work.

Ultimately, if you treat your body well by getting enough sleep, eating properly and staying active, you’ll reward yourself with better focus, more energy and achieve new levels of productivity. 

The key here is consistency, which starts by creating a daily routine.

Here are 3 important factors to include in your daily life to boost your business success and live a healthy lifestyle.


1. Get Enough Sleep

As a business owner, you’re constantly on your feet, making key decisions left, right and centre.

But how can you make the right move if you’re feeling unrefreshed and groggy?

Well, you can’t.

Inevitably, bad sleep is going to ruin your day and so, sleep is critical if you want to effectively lead your business to success.

At the end of the day, you need a clear head to negotiate deals, communicate with your team and produce content in your marketing strategy - running on low sleep means you’re not going to be as productive as you could be.

Therefore, you must maintain a regular sleep schedule; go to bed and wake up at the same time every day - experts recommend at least 8 hours of sleep.

At the same time, what you do before bed is equally as important; try to limit blue light in the evenings from smart devices and avoid working in bed, or you won't associate this space with rest, making it harder to fall asleep.


2. Workout

Once you’ve mastered your sleeping schedule, it’s time to incorporate some physical activity.

Arguably, you have the most energy in the mornings, so aim to get your workout done first thing - plus this way, you can’t use the excuse “I don’t have time”!

It’s been found, working out in the morning will boost your mood, give you more energy and reduce stress levels, as well as helping you feel relaxed despite the busy day ahead.

Research reveals those who work out as part of their daily routine are 50% more productive than those who exercise once in a while.

As such, aim to workout daily - even if it’s just 30 minutes a day and see how your brain feels more stimulated and refreshed.

Just look at Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group who wakes up at 5 am every morning to exercise, or Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief at Vogue Magazine who plays a 45-minute tennis match at 5:45 am before heading to the office.

Clearly, working out does wonder and puts you in a better position, mentally and physically, to achieve business success.


3. Eat Properly 

I’m sure we can all agree that eating properly has its benefits; you live longer, have more energy and allow us to think more clearly.

However, it’s not just what you eat that matters, it’s how you eat too.

Of course, mornings can be hectic, but you must find time to eat breakfast because missing out on this meal will disrupt your body’s natural flow and cause you to lose concentration throughout the day.

And, it doesn’t have to be complicated either; you could have peanut butter on toast with sliced banana, or eggs and avocados, for example.

If you’re in a hurry, chuck your favourite fruits into a blender and start the day strong with a healthy smoothie after your workout - whatever it is, don’t skip breakfast.

Furthermore, your meal times should be set for each day, for instance, breakfast at 9 am, lunch at 1 pm, dinner at 6 pm and stick to these times.

By doing so, your body stays active during your working hours, keeping your energy levels high and mental focus.

As opposed to missing a meal which can have adverse effects on your body, affecting your mood and daily performance.


Final Words

All in all, sleep, exercise and nutrition are critical to building a business so make health a priority, in order to make better decisions and keep a level head at all times.

Having no routine or structure can be much more draining, so practising these healthy habits is not only a self-investment for yourself, but will pay off in your business too.


To learn more, get in touch with us today.


This blog was produced in collaboration with HR Consultancy Huddersfield: Nectar HR, and written by the team at SEO Agency Leicester: Axies Digital.


Ultimate Guide to Strength Training

Strength Training: The Ultimate Guide

Strength training is a form of workout in which muscles are exercised by using an opposite force.

And, is usually with the use of weight bars, dumbbells and weight stacks.

According to the congress of The European Society of Cardiology, you can prolong your life by increasing muscle strength.

In fact, every movement that a human makes requires some sort of muscle strength, and there is no other support for it in everyday life.

In this blog, you will get to know how strength training is good for the longevity of your life.


Top 3 Benefits
It's not only an athletic figure but
strong bodies are linked to sharp minds, higher levels of productivity and a will to try more things in life. 

Below are three top benefits of strength training:


1. Slows Ageing On The Body

Typically, the body loses mass with age.

But, strength training can actually be an anti-ageing process.

Simply, what strength training does, is it generates signals in your brain asking it to produce more healthy tissues.

Moreover, multiple studies have shown that older people who did strength training exercises regularly, found themselves more mentally sharp, mobile and metabolically healthier.


2. Improved Complexion

Besides anti-ageing, strength training is also associated with your complexion.

So, working out with weights will result in losing fatty tissues between muscle and skin, which can make you look younger than your age.


3. Better Joints 

Strength training can improve your joints - the connections between bones in your body, necessary for a human to move. 

Usually with age, not only do the bones lose their strength, but also joints get weaker.

Therefore, if that process gets slowed down somehow, like through strength training, a person can enjoy moving around even in very old age.


Guidelines for Strength Training

Although strength training is good, it is important to follow some guidelines.


The Technique

There are four things that make a weight lift correct - breath, posture, core and limitations. 

With the wrong technique, you can disturb your muscles or even injure yourself.

So, in the beginning, stages take help from a trainer or watch videos from a reputed source.

Lastly, know your limitations; over-lifting can fracture the bones or strain the muscles. 


Lift Heavier Weights

Lifting weights that are too light for your weight and size won’t do much help. 

For instance, if you are easily able to do 22 reps, it means you need to pick 5 pounds heavier.

With that in mind, keep increasing the weights with time and make sure that your number of reps are consistent.


Be Agile 

It is said that muscles are built outside the gym.

As such, if you are spending 40 minutes on what you can do in 20 minutes, you will get the same results but your 20 minutes are wasted.

Simply, finish your strength workout as soon as you can, it will save you a lot of time.


Age is Only a Number

Unless you’re extremely young, old or unable to move then you are suitable for strength training.

In other words, age is only a number for strength training.

Therefore, you can even start at 60 or even 70 if you are doing your other activities somewhat normally. 


There will be Soreness

No pain no gain!

If you are doing it the right way, there will always be soreness.

However, it’s a sign that something good is happening to your body.

Let’s say the soreness is unbearable, stop working out and see a doctor.


To learn more, get in touch with us today.


This blog was produced in collaboration with:

Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my blog section. You will find articles relating to all the areas in which I have experience and knowledge in.

Strength training, conditioning, rehabilitation, movement, posture and all of these can relate to all areas of your life.

Morning Motivation

Get Up and Exercise: 4 Tips to Help You Find Morning Motivation!

When it comes to exercising, the best time to workout is when you can stick to one slot consistently

With everyone’s bodies being so different, there isn’t a “right” time so to speak, and it all depends on your own personal body and lifestyle factors.

Even though there isn’t a “one size fits all” routine, it has been found exercising in the morning brings a wealth of benefits for both your physical and mental health.

At the same time, many of us live super busy lives and an early morning workout can sometimes be the best solution that works around packed schedules and other commitments.

I know, it’s easier said than done - who wants to leave a warm bed, snuggled up to exercise?

However, once you overcome this battle, an a.m. sweat is great for a healthy start to the day.

Here are 4 clever tips to help you find that morning motivation.


1. Start Small

To make a morning routine that will last, it’s a good idea to start small and be realistic with your morning plans.

Usually, exercise goals fail because we set our expectations too high and end up biting more than we can chew.

In the early stages, rather than telling yourself you’re going to workout for an hour in the morning, just tell yourself you will exercise for 5 minutes.

Now 5 minutes may not seem like enough, but just start small - get up and start walking around.

In fact, this could even include walking up the stairs to reach the office in the morning rather than taking the lift.

After doing this for a few days and you slowly start getting comfortable, you can add more and more minutes each day accordingly. 


2. Wake Up at the Same Time Everyday 

Sometimes we try to convince ourselves that we can set our alarms for 5am, workout and be showered for 6:30am - but this is not always doable everyday.

Of course, this will depend on your own self, but pick a wake up time that you can stick with everyday.

So, you’ll need to figure out how many hours of sleep you need to still have a strong morning workout in the morning.

And, if you have set a specific time for your workout, then make sure you don’t get distracted by anything else and be strict with your exercise time.

In addition, even on the days you’re not going to be exercising, (we all need a break), try to still wake up at the same time. 

The reason being, this will help you to stay on track and make your brain feel more alert, as it understands when the day starts everyday; with consistency, your brain will help prepare your body for its wakeup time.


3. Keep Your Alarm Away From Your Bed

The old fashioned way of getting out of bed is by keeping your alarm clock away from your bed.

As simple as it sounds, doing this forces you to leave your bed in the morning to turn it off.

And this will make you less likely to hit snooze and get back into bed - after all, you’re up now, so stay up!


4. Lay Your Sportswear Out The Night Before

This may sound silly, but laying all your sportswear, including equipment like earphones, is a gamechanger.

Think about it, the last thing you want to do when you’ve just woken up is to pack your back and try to find a matching sock!

And, if you can find something that will prevent you from working out, you’ll only end up going back to bed, because what’s the point right?

However, having your sportswear ready for when you wake up will have you ahead of the game: not only is everything ready, but changing into your workout clothes as soon as you wake up tells your brain it’s time to get your sweat on!


The Final Word

To begin with, trying to establish a morning exercise routine will be hard.

You probably won’t want to do it and it’ll require some push and effort from within.

But once you start getting into the swing of things, waking up and exercising will become a lot easier and you may even find it's something you really enjoy and look forward to in the morning.


To learn more, get in touch with us today.


This blog was produced in collaboration with:

Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my blog section. You will find articles relating to all the areas in which I have experience and knowledge in.

Strength training, conditioning, rehabilitation, movement, posture and all of these can relate to all areas of your life.

Banded exercises to get strong and save you time if you are a busy business owner!

Resistance Bands To Save Time!

Get strong through your entire body with resistance bands.

Resistance bands are a great way to build strength but also save time if you are a busy business owner with limited time to get to the gym.

A pack of decent bands will cost around £25-30. And they include anchor points to tie them up at different angles.

A lot of my clients use these to get amazing results in their bodies.

Today's exercise is the banded Pallof press.

This exercise not only gives you great
core strength but also works the rest of the body.

It creates core stiffness and
anti-rotation.

This helps the deep muscles which surround the spine become super strong!

Which means less back pain whilst sitting all day behind the desk.

Just a set of resistance bands will give you an immense workout if done correctly.

With bands, you don't have to worry about gravity like with weights.

You can use them at many different angles and the resistance is through the whole rep.

They also teach your muscles to learn control.

I'd recommend 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps per side.

Much better than any crunch or sit up will achieve.

Stay strong to live long!