One thing that we promote strongly is office massage, as it can be extremely beneficial to employees. We have discussed how workplace massage can be unobtrusive to the general set-up of an office, and how it can help diffuse stressful work environments (see our post here). But office massage is even more important today than before, given the nature of modern office work and its effect on a critical physical feature: posture.
According to some health sites, people should sit like reigning kings, with your two feet planted firmly, and uncrossed, on the floor, your back straight upright, your neck in line with you back (so straight upright) and your arms resting on the arms of your chair, at your sides. If this sounds like your regular posture at the office, click on the “health-sites” link above and check out the picture – no one sits like that.
Instead, we slouch our backs, we lean our heads forward to read what’s on our computers, we cross our legs, and we slope our shoulders forward, among other incorrect postural moves. This is more natural and comfortable for those of us actually stuck in an office all day, and it seems naïve to expect employees to do otherwise.
Unfortunately this comfortable, but incorrect, posture can lead to serious problems with our posture, which can lead to some serious medical conditions. Neck muscles can shorten or lengthen, weaken and harden, and shoulders can become rounded. These changes to our body as the result of bad posture can then lead to headaches, tension and pain in the neck and shoulders, and even back pain and digestive issues.
Fortunately, massage therapy, performed in the office or outside of it, can really help. As the ABMP reports, massage therapy, in the form of deep-tissue massage, Swedish massage, acupressure, and many other modalities can relax and lengthen short and tight muscles, while stimulating and re-energizing lengthened muscles so they can provide the support they’re meant to. This can help reverse the physical damage that our bad posture at the office creates.