Over time, advancements in industry and technology have significantly affected the way people spend their waking hours. Whether for good or bad remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure—while it was common for people in the past to spend virtually the entire day on their feet, the norm today is to spend that same amount of time sitting.
Modern day conveniences allow people to do much work without leaving their chair, from making phone calls, to writing emails and even participating in meetings via teleconferencing. Unfortunately, such a laidback lifestyle comes with a lot of inherent problems, with some having the potential to affect health. Since the body is designed for near perpetual movement, office workers need to get out of their chair from time to time and get moving. Your occupational health company highly recommends these five exercises that you and your employees can incorporate into the workday.
Hand and finger stretches
Make a fist with both hands, and hold it for up to 30 seconds. Open your palms and stretch your fingers wide. Again, hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise at least 4 times. This exercise is designed to prevent repetitive strain injuries and tendinitis.
Raise the roof exercise
Stand up, then push toward the ceiling with your palms open in a ‘raise the roof’ motion. Do at least 20 repetitions with this exercise. Add a little resistance by holding a full water bottle in each hand.
The stomach is usually the first part of the body to add weight. There are many types of abdominal stretching exercises that you can perform, but to include your oblique muscles you should stand up, place your hands on your waist, twist to the left, and hold the position for five seconds. Go back to the neutral position, then twist to the right, repeating the same steps. Perform at least 20 repetitions of this exercise.
Every hour or so, step away from your desk and walk for a few minutes. If walking around your office seems awkward, you can try marching in place at your desk or going to a more private location to do so.
If you would like to create a good workplace health plan, or need help improving your current one, an occupational health company such as U.S. HealthWorks can provide you with the professional support you need.
10 Exercises to Do at Your Desk, forbes.com
A workout at work? WashingtonPost.com