07 February 2014
It’s common knowledge that we can maintain a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, however, physiotherapists know that exercise can do more than just help manage body weight and prevent disease, it also promotes mental wellbeing.
Penny Minto, a charted Physiotherapist and qualified Pilate’s instructor at Spire Clare Park Hospital in Farnham, explains exercise promotes mental wellbeing and reduces stress by:
- causing your body to release chemicals which help lift your mood and relax you
- refocusing your attention from stressful issues to what your body needs to do
- releasing contained stress and tension making you more resilient to pressure
Physiotherapists recommend being active every day, and even the smallest steps can go a long way to improve your mental wellbeing. Almost all forms of physical activity can provide relief from tension and stress and help you look and feel better physically.
A good posture helps to keep your joints healthy and strong and allows you to breathe more freely, keeping you feeling calm and relaxed. Whatever your occupation, it’s important to practice good posture whilst performing your daily tasks. Sit or stand tall with your shoulders back and your tummy muscles slightly pulled in, ensuring that your spine, shoulders and hips are all well aligned. Pilates is an excellent way to improve your posture as it develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures and restores physical vitality.
Spending too much time sat at a desk or doing repetitive tasks can contribute to the development of back, neck and arm pain. Easy things you can do to help avoid pain problems, as well as think more clearly and be more efficient include; moving about and stretch; rotating your tasks; wearing a lightweight headset; standing up to make some of your calls; taking the stairs instead of the lift or going for a walk at lunchtime.
- Sit at the front of your chair, rotate your upper body to the right, with your left hand hold onto the backrest of your seat and hold for five seconds, the swap sides.
- Without pressing into your neck, hold your hands together behind your neck and stretch the elbows so they pull together the shoulder blades, hold for five seconds.
- Lace your fingers together and push your palms away from your body for five seconds.