By Ellen Phillips
Physiotherapist at Life Ready Physio + Pilates Bayswater
Working long hours in a high stress environment can have a negative effect upon our mental and physical state. More and more people are working high intensity jobs requiring 40+ hours per week, which can lead to less time and effort being put into our health and wellbeing.
Increased pressure and hours at work can result in increased levels of stress, which can have negative impacts on how we respond to pain. When we are stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol present in the body over time may be associated with chronic pain, therefore by decreasing stress we can improve not only our mental wellbeing, but our physical wellbeing as well.
Deep breathing is a great way to decrease stress as it lowers our heart rate and blood pressure. Being stressed at work can result in us holding ourselves in awkward positions, particularly in desk work, for sustained lengths of time. This can result in muscular tightness that can make it more difficult to relax certain muscles required for us to carry out truly relaxed deep breathing.
Physiotherapists can assess which muscles are tight as a result of poor posture caused by sitting/standing for prolonged periods in suboptimal positions. They can provide treatment through massage, joint mobilisation and dry needling. They can also share exercises that promote relaxation of these muscles to enable relaxed, deep breathing.
Physical activity is another fantastic way to decrease work-related stress as it encourages the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are “feel good” hormones – they are the body’s natural pain killers and mood elevators, so they are ideal in combating stress and the negative effects stress can have upon our bodies.
Physiotherapist-led Clinical Pilates focuses on strength training while maintaining muscle length and relaxed breathing. It can be a great form of exercise to stretch and strengthen specific muscles that become fatigued while sitting/standing in prolonged and sustained positions at work. This targeted physiotherapy for work-related injuries can be a great way to not only get in shape but also to decrease stress through training deep breathing. Clinical Pilates also encourages the body to release endorphins that act as natural pain killers and improve your mood which in turn encourages stress reduction at work and improvements in overall health.
Chat to your local Life Ready physiotherapist to learn how they can help you or your employees combat your work-related stress and ensure you move towards your best quality of life! Contact us today to make a booking or find out more about what we offer.