Exercises for the workplace
If you work in an office you will understand the discomfort that sitting in a chair all day can cause. Your lower back begins to ache, your neck stiffens and your legs begin to cramp up, it’s the worst!
Investing in ergonomic furniture such as chairs and desks that are suitable for your individual needs will make a huge difference to your overall well-being and productivity. But even with the correct posture and the most comfortable chairs, sitting still for 8 hours is still not advised.
Here are some easy exercises you can do while sitting at your desk:
Head rolls – Gently roll the head from one shoulder towards the chest and up to the other shoulder. Do this slowly and repeat several times.
Chin tucks – Straighten the neck, and then gently tilt the chin forwards – as if you’re nodding your head. Do this slowly and repeat several times.
Head turns – Turn the head to look over your left shoulder, and then your right shoulder. Hold on each side for ten seconds and repeat several times.
Shoulder rolls – Gently roll shoulders forwards several times, and then roll shoulders back several times.
Shoulder stretch – Stretch arm above head, cradle elbow with the other hand and gently pull the elbow towards the head. Hold this for ten seconds and repeat on the other arm.
Foot rotation – While sat on your chair, simply lift one leg upright and begin to rotate the foot. Rotate the foot both ways and repeat several times on each foot.
Wrist stretch – Interlock fingers, stretch out arms with the palms of your hands facing outward and hold for ten seconds. Repeat several times.
Upper and lower back stretch – Interlock fingers, stretch arms above the head with the palms of your hands facing outward. Slowly lean from side to side. Repeat several times.
Eye exercise – Simply face forward and look left, then right. Then up, then down.
Visual Rest – Take a moment to look away from the computer screen, and look out of the window.
Get up, get moving
Doing these mini exercises will be extremely beneficial for individuals who work at a desk, you could even do them whilst still working away on your computer. However, even though they are super helpful in minimising injuries such as back pain, it is really important to keep active.
Getting out of your chair and walking around for a short distance will not only lessen the risk of posture related injuries, but it will give your brain a break from staring at a computer screen.
Looking after your mind
Sitting at a desk all day doesn’t only put stress and strain on our bodies but it puts stress and strain on our minds too. Office jobs, where it is required to work on a computer, can be very mentally demanding. Therefore, it is important to give our minds a break and unwind, even if it’s just for a minute. Often, when you have so much on your mind, your workflow may slow down and you may experience “synapse lapse” which is where you simply cannot process your thoughts and ideas properly. This means your productivity and creativity will be poor, which isn’t ideal for you or your employers!
Ergonomic Chairs and DSE Assessments
As mentioned before, as well as implementing these exercises, it could be a good idea to invest in an ergonomic chair that will further reduce the risk of back, neck or shoulder pain. If you’re unsure on what you’re looking for when it comes to your specific chair needs, then our DSE Assessments can help you identify any issues with current setups or identify specific products that may allow DSE related issues to be resolved.