Work day stress can not only be exhausting on the mind, but the body as well. A long day’s work can result in stiff, sore, and aching muscles. This is often attributed to limited movement, poor posture, or lifting, and can be a situation that is hard to get control of. Often, you may find yourself just trying to get through the day so you can go home and rest your body.
The good news is there are ways to help prevent and relieve the strains of working.
Wake Up Gently
Most people lead busy and rushed lives. You start as soon as you jump out of bed and begin running to start the day. This quick awakening is what often causes us so much tension in the morning. Instead, give yourself some time to slowly arise stretching out your muscles as you come to a standing position.
Take a Warm Shower
After waking up, a warm shower can help to loosen your muscles as well as relax your body. Any stiffness you may have incurred during your sleep should be able to ease with some moist heat.
Dress Your Feet in the Proper Footwear
One of the most important things you can do in the morning to help prevent the stiffness and aching during the day is to put on the proper footwear if you’re going to be standing continuously. When picking out your everyday footwear, you need to make sure that it:
Use an Anti-Fatigue Mat
If your job has you on your feet all day, find an anti-fatigue mat to help alleviate the pressure on your back. While you may not feel it at first, standing on concrete or other hard surfaces throughout the day can lead to lower back as well as knee pain.
Change Positions throughout the Day
Much of the achiness you experience throughout the day can be directly related to taut and stiff muscles. Whether you are in an office, retail, or a production facility, you may find yourself standing in the same position for a long time. Try to vary your position throughout the day so that you are moving your muscles to keep them from getting stiff.
Maintain Good Posture
Whether you’re on your feet all day or in a chair, when your fatigue sets in you may find yourself beginning to slouch or hunch over. Be aware of your posture and try to maintain it throughout your shift. Good posture helps to keep your vertebrae and spine in the correct position which will in turn keep your muscles in the position they need to be.
Following Lifting Procedure
If lifting is a requirement of your job, be sure that you lift the items properly and do not exceed the weight you should be lifting. These guidelines are not only there to only prevent major injury, but also regular wear and tear on your muscles and joints.
Stretch Throughout the Day
Having limited mobility throughout the day can wreak havoc on your muscles. During your breaks or lunch, incorporate a muscle stretching routine to help keep your joints and muscles limber throughout the day and prevent stiffness. If you are limited on space, you can simply stretch each muscle group starting with your neck by gently tilting and then rotating the various parts of your body.
Optimise Your Work Space
Make sure your work space is friendly to your height and body type. Your keyboard should be located at a natural height and distance so that you are not hunched over or reaching while typing. Your chair should provide a supportive back and one with lumbar support will help you get in the right position. You should also make sure that your chair is kept at the right height so that you are able to rest your feet flat on the floor without having to reach on your desk.
Master the Art of Progressive Muscle Relaxation
If you find yourself extremely taught when returning from a long day at work, sit down and go through a series of progressive muscle relaxation techniques. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tightening each muscle in your body, starting with those in your hands, holding them for ten seconds, and then releasing them. This routine should not take long and will not only help you relax your individual muscles, but your mind as well.
Get Quality Rest
One of the most important things to prevent the soreness and achy feeling during the day is to make sure that you get quality rest. All too often people focus on the quantity -how many hours of sleep – and not really the quality of the sleep they are getting.
If you find yourself with aches and pains from working, or simply want to prevent them from occurring in the future, try the simple tips above to help keep the pain away.
This is a collaborative post.