Last week I offered some suggestions on how to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine at home. Just a few minutes of exercise each and every day can have a huge positive impact on your overall strength, flexibility, health and well-being.
However, incorporating more physical activity at work may be a bit more challenging depending on your work environment and job-related activities. And, unlike your home environment, you may not be the person in charge. So, what can you do?
If you have a sedentary job, try doing isometric exercises while sitting at your desk. Abdominal contractions, gluts, quads and hamstring sets as well as ankle pumps can be very effective and easily done in a chair.
Speaking of chairs, really slow down when you get up and down from your chair. Feel your weight shift over your legs and feet, gently contract your abs and gluts as you slowly straighten your legs and come to your full height. The simple act of getting up and down from a chair using this much focus and attention can improve your strength, balance and posture.
Stretch your back, neck and shoulders often during the day, especially if you do a lot of computer work. Do a few mini-squats in the break room. Go for a 20 minute walk during your lunch break. Use your imagination, and consider recruiting a co-worker to support each other and come up with creative ideas.
If you have a job that is active or physically demanding, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be meticulous about using good body mechanics. Healthy ergonomics will not only prevent injuries, but will improve your posture, strength, flexibility and decrease aches, pains and fatigue at the end of a long day.
If you are fortunate enough to work for a company that has a wellness program, take advantage of this terrific benefit. If not, perhaps you and your colleagues can request a series of “wellness inservices” from a variety of different health care specialists to give presentations on how to achieve fitness, health, balance and wellness. The possibilities are endless!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP