The home office pain is real!

2020 and 2021 are the “years of home office” for many of us. Working long hours inside a normal office is taxing enough for your body already. However, actual offices generally have proper office setups, like working desks, big screens and office chairs. Suddenly, you are supposed to work from home and have to figure out your own office setup. For many people, this means sitting at their kitchen desk, on their couch or in other positions far from ideal.

Many of my personal training clients have faced issues over the past year such as tightness in their neck, shoulders and lower back, as well as sciatic nerve pain. I’m pretty sure many of you out there have experienced (or are still experiencing) the same. It has become more important than ever to stretch and work on your mobility. 10-15 minutes every day would be ideal. Every other day is ok, too, but it depends how bad your symptoms are. Another great effect is that setting aside some time for yourself helps you destress. It’s tough when there is no distinction between working space and living space any more.

I have put together a series of short videos to show you some stretches and exercises you can do for different parts of your body.

Routine to relieve lower back tightness

This is a super easy routine you can do to help yourself. There are four stretches that you can hold for around 30 to 60 seconds each. If it feels SUPER DUPER AMAZING, you can of course hold it for longer. Especially the funny looking last one, the “happy baby” is something you can stay in for as long as you want. It is super relaxing. In the video you can also see one exercise: Press your lower back to the floor, hold for 10 seconds, release, repeat. Start with 10 reps.

Routine for your entire torso

Here is a short routine of five stretches you can do if you are feeling stiff around your neck, shoulders and upper back. Computer work is a killer and if you are also stressed, you are adding to that stiffness by doing things like pulling your shoulders up without even noticing. Only the first one I am showing is meant to be a dynamic one. The others you can hold for around 30 seconds. Always work both sides of your body.

Hip mobility routine

If you feel like a granny or grandpa with regards to your hips (just like me lol), here are some movements you can do to get them a bit more loose. There are many hip stretches and mobility exercises, just like there are hundreds of reasons why your hips might be stiff. Those are four moves I love doing for my hips. They feel amazing. Some of them are a bit more advanced, so don’t be discouraged if they don’t work immediately.

How to address knee pain

Knee pain can have a hundred reasons, can be very individual and is often related to a person’s lifestyle and habits. However, if you are a fitness beginner or a runner who doesn’t do supportive strength training and you don’t have any (fresh or old) injuries, then this is how you can start off when you’d like to address your knee pain:

1. Roll out your quads (front of your thighs).

2. Roll out your IT-Band (side of your thighs, iliotibial band)

3. Use a light mini loop band and do full range, slow and controlled leg extensions (do 3×10 per leg per session)

4. Strengthen your glutes, for example with an exercise like the one in the video (start with 3×10 per session).

In addition to those stretches and exercises, make sure you stand up at least once per hour in your home office and move your knees. Also check your home office ergonomics. A very common thing is having the office chair set too low. It is worth investing in a good one if you have the space.

I really hope that you find this helpful and can get some relief from doing the exercises. If you have trouble helping yourself, consider working with a physio or personal trainer. They can often assess your issues better than yourself and show you how to address them. If you are unsure about how to find a personal trainer, check my blog post here.

From my own experience working as a manager in a fast growing startup, I put together some advice how you can deal with work overload. Most of this you will already know, but very often we just need to hear it again to act on it.

  Image credit: Preview image <a href=''>Business photo created by gpointstudio -</a>