Many Canadians spend the majority of the work day sitting at a desk. Although sitting may not seem like a high risk activity, sedentary jobs can have a negative impact on overall health. These types of jobs contribute to obesity and can lead to various other health issues such as tendonitis and neck and back strain injuries. Fortunately, there is something you can do. Here are 5 exercises that you can do at work to help keep you active, healthy and injury free at work.
Stretching regularly will help to decrease tension and tightness in your muscles. Here are 10 simple stretches you can do at your desk. Try to perform a few of these stretches, 3-4 times a day. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Stretching should be pain free. (If any of these stretches cause pain, numbness or tingling, contact a health care professional)
2. Strengthen Muscles
-Glute squeeze: while sitting at your desk, tighten your buttocks, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times
-Heel raises: if you are taking a standing break, raise up on the balls of your feet by lifting your heels off the ground. Repeat 20 times
-Chair Squat: without using your hands stand up and sit back down in your chair. Repeat 10 times
-Leg raises: When sitting, tighten your thigh muscle and kick your leg out straight. Hold for 5 seconds, repeat 20 times.
3. Stand Up
Every 15-20 minutes, take a break and stand up. Standing helps to improve circulation and posture, relieves stress and can decrease low back pain.
4. Go for a Walk
On your lunch break, go for a walk. Walking for just 10 minutes can help to control blood sugar and cholesterol, burn fat, increase energy and decrease stress. If possible, change into walking shoes to ensure your feet are well supported.