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’re very likely to be experiencing aches and pains throughout your body including lower back and 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 work station is set up correctly with a comfortable but supportive chair. Feet should be able to touch the floor with hips facing straight towards the desk. Try not to cross your legs or slump 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 and if using a keyboard a wrist rest can reduce wrist overuse.
  • Move! Taking regular breaks (maybe set an alarm on your phone every 20 mins) away from your desk to move and stretch will help to keep the blood flowing, reducing the build up 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 the inflammation of neck, shoulder and back muscles. These symptoms are caused due to 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!

Our receptionist, Sally, is a former secondary school teacher and A-Level examiner. She recommends that students should have a good sleep routine, get plenty of exercise (especially in the fresh air), take time to relax but away from screens, eat well and regularly, and follow Hannah’s tips above. She also suggests using mindfulness techniques during exams, as well as 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.

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