Some Tips to Help You Stay Fit at a Desk Job
If you have a big office of your own, feel free to schlep in your spin bike, but for the rest of the desk jockeys and office drones, taking up a bunch of space with a nordic track is a quick way to ensure that the whole office will hate you.
Everyone wants to be healthy, but with the work day not getting any shorter, and more people working behind computers than ever before, how realistic is it to find time during the day for even simple exercise? And nobody wants to look like a dork doing push-ups in the aisle between desks.
Staying active has its undeniable health benefits, from elevated mood, to better sleep, to a reduced risk of heart problems; ways to stay healthy at work are something everyone should be thinking about. For employees who spend their whole day sitting down in front of a computer, finding small ways to increase your activity level throughout the day can make a huge difference when it comes to alleviating those aches and pains that accumulate over the workweek.
The point is to get the blood flowing enough to keep your joints happy, boost your energy, and keep your muscles from getting stiff. So I imagine you already know most of the stretches I'm going to outline today, but so you don't hurt yourself, here's some instruction.
Step one—stop slouching. I know it feels like the most comfortable way to sit at your desk, but what your grade-school teacher said is true, bad posture is bad for your overall health. Sit up straight and use your core to support your upper body instead of letting your back do all the work.
Step two— shoulder stretch. Grab your left elbow with your right hand and slowly pull your arm across your chest to the point just before you feel it start to get uncomfortable. Repeat with the other side. Step Three— chest stretch. Lace your fingers behind your head and then slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together until you feel a good stretch, to the point just before you start to feel a pinch. Repeat as many times as necessary
Step Four— Neck exercises. This is where it pays to go slow and be extra careful, but also where it pays to do regular stretching because we tend to hold so much tension in the neck and shoulders. First sit with your spine erect, lean forward
slightly and use your core to support your upper body.
Then slowly tuck your chin down into your chest before slowly returning to level. Reverse this motion, pointing your chin up until you feel a stretch in the muscles along your throat. Next, keep your chin pointing forward and slowly turn your head to the side until you feel a gentle stretch in the opposite side of your neck and opposite shoulder, then stretch the other side.
Repeat the entire exercise as many times as you need. As long as you go slow and pay attention to how your body's feeling, this should be a quick and easy way to relieve tension in your upper body.
On a more serious note, if you believe that a sedentary lifestyle is going to be seriously damaging to your health. Say, if you have a family history of obesity or heart disease, then you may want to ask your boss about getting a standing desk. Just switching from sitting to standing can have some very positive health benefits, particularly as you start to get older and the effects of bad posture start to take effect.
Many workplaces are starting to implement policies that encourage their workers to get up and move around during the day, and the benefits are tangible. More active employees, unsurprisingly, tend to be happier and have fewer health problems than their sedentary counterparts. This can end up saving the company money with reduced healthcare costs, fewer sick days, and lower turnover. It's a win-win situation— healthy employees make for happy companies.
As always, thank you for reading. If you have an employment law issue, or would like to make a legal complaint, then don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable employment lawyers.