Exam Stress and Office Syndrome

Exam season is here, beginning with SATs for our youngest Year 6 children, onto GCSEs and A-Levels, and not forgetting BTEC and other technical qualifications and university students. No matter your age, the act of revising and sitting exams, along with mental and emotional stress, can cause stress to your body. Office-working parents may well find their children experiencing similar postural difficulties to themselves, and you may have a household suffering from Office Syndrome.

Our massage therapist, Hannah, has seen an increase in patients aged 16-18 in the last month, which has prompted her to write the following on exam stress and Office Syndrome:

Chained to your desk due to studying for exams or in an office/school environment?

You’ll likely experience aches and pains throughout your body, including your lower back, neck, and shoulders—not to mention regular headaches! Sitting for long periods of time can cause some real detrimental effects, especially if you are sitting for long hours and slumped over a desk. We are just not designed to be sitting all day, every day!

Luckily, there are some things that can help.

  • Ensure your workstation is set up correctly with a comfortable but supportive chair. Your feet should be able to touch the floor, and your hips should face straight towards the desk. Avoid crossing your legs or slumping forward, as this puts pressure on your spine.
  • Screens should be raised and directly in front of you to help ease the strain on your neck. If you use a keyboard, a wrist rest can reduce wrist overuse.
  • Move! Taking regular breaks (maybe setting an alarm on your phone every 20 minutes) away from your desk to move and stretch will help keep the blood flowing, reducing the buildup of tension and adhesion. Your brain needs a break, too! Remember to keep hydrated!

If you’re suffering from ‘Office Syndrome’, a sports massage is a perfect way to release tight muscles and get you moving again.

What is office syndrome?

Office Syndrome refers to a group of various symptoms, including inflammation of the neck, shoulder, and back muscles. These symptoms are caused by repetitive muscle strain during long periods of unhealthy positions, such as sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours.

For children younger than 16 years, we have our specialist paediatric chiropractor, Charlotte. If you have any concerns about your child resulting from studying, book a Free Screen consultation with Charlotte to discuss the best way forward and how to get your child back to having fun!

Whatever your age, if you sit for long periods at a desk, you’ll benefit from Colin’s clock exercises. To follow Colin’s video, you only need an old-fashioned analogue clock on your wall.

Our receptionist, Sally, is a former secondary school teacher and A-Level examiner. She recommends that students have a good sleep routine, get plenty of exercise (especially in the fresh air), relax away from screens, eat well and regularly, and follow Hannah’s tips above. She also suggests using mindfulness techniques during exams and for relaxation. Short breathing exercises can easily be done in an exam room and can boost concentration and reduce anxiety.

Good luck to all sitting exams this summer. Our thoughts are with you and those supporting you.

Remember, if pain and discomfort prevent you from enjoying life, call 01590 679560 or Book Online for appointments with chiropractors Colin, Charlotte, Fiona or massage therapist Hannah. For acupuncture appointments, call Amanda directly on 07876 343 821. For podiatry appointments, call Paul directly on 07857 137732.