January 14, 2020, by Charlotte Gauja
An expert’s advice to avoid neck and shoulder pain during the exam period
Over the exam period you are likely to be sat in the library or at home for long hours studying for your January exams. Prolonged sitting in one position cause neck, shoulder and back aching or pain, therefore, it is important to make sure that you are moving and stretching regularly as well as sitting in the best position in order to reduce these effects. When it comes to sitting there are a few recommendations and guidelines that you can follow to improve your seated posture, however, everyone is different and what one person finds comfortable the next person may find uncomfortable. So we spoke to our experts in the Sports Injury Clinic to provide top tips to increase comfort:
- Switch sitting positions often – slump for a bit, sit up tall for a bit, roll your shoulders, change the position of your legs. Basically fidgeting is good.
- Take brief walks around your study area. Even just standing up at your desk then sitting down again helps to keep you loose.
- Gently stretch your muscles every so often to help relieve muscle tension. Try putting your arm across your chest and use your other arm to stretch it across your body, you can even do this at your desk.
- Make sure that your feet touch the floor, or if that’s not possible, use a footrest.
- Relax your shoulders; try not to tense up.
- Utilise pillows or cushions (or other back supports) in order to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Whilst there are no absolutes as to what the best sitting position is, the main thing is to be comfortable, and to try to get up regularly from your seat to move around or stretch, as this will reduce the effects on the body of sitting for long periods of time.
For an instructor led stretch, book onto one of our mind and body fitness classes available in the class timetable. You can book onto if you are a sport and fitness member or use a stressbusting pass to get a free stretch during the exam period.
We wish you the best of luck during the exam period!