Many of us spend hours a day sitting at a desk without much movement at all. This can wreak havoc on our bodies over time. Research shows that sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day or doing strenuous labor on the job can have negative effects on our bodies.
Simple acts such as stretching can be very beneficial to alleviate muscles and joints that are tight and sore. We first recommend addressing your posture. Additionally, you may want to think about sitting on an exercise ball for short intervals throughout the day. This tactic helps to engage your back, abdomen and legs while helping you maintain posture.
Our FREE service, Resource One, provides the following suggestions for stretching during the work day:
Stand, then stretch your arms to the ceiling. Breathe for 5 seconds. Repeat.
Grab your right elbow with your left hand and stretch your arm across your chest. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with the other arm.
Inhale and shrug your shoulders to your ears. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Release and repeat.
Extend your arms out to your sides with your palms facing downward. Then, extend your fingers and stretch. Breathe in and out and rotate your arms forward.
Hug your legs with your arms while sitting and allow your chest to rest on your legs.
Interlock your fingers behind your back and roll your shoulders back. Stretch your elbows and arms, holding for a few seconds.
If you are typing frequently through the day, you can implement short breaks to stretch out your fingers, hands, and wrists. Clench your fists, stretch your hands out parallel to the ground and do 10 wrist circles in each direction. This will alleviate pain from typing and/or clicking for so long throughout the day. Another effective stretch is to extend your arm to the floor and push your fingers with your opposite hand towards your body. Hold this stretch for 5 seconds and then switch hands.
Additionally, you should make it a point to get up and move as often as you can. Set reminders every hour to get up and stretch, go for a short walk, fill up water, or use the restroom. A few short breaks throughout the day will help keep you moving and loose so your muscles and joints are not getting tight and unused. During your lunch break, get outside and eat, walk, stretch, or move in any capacity to ensure that you are staying flexible and on top of your injury prevention.
If you feel that you could use some more movement or stretching throughout the day, follow the ideas above! It may not seem like much, but simple changes like these can be very effective for your physical and mental health.
We hope to assist you with keeping you and your employees healthy! If you would like additional resources on this topic or other topics for your business, check out Resource One, which is our FREE service provided to you with access to thousands of documents, policies, manuals, toolkits, and graphics for you to use at your leisure. Resource One provides documents like this or you and your business to have, use, and share. If you have not signed up for this FREE service, learn more about it here.