Staying Healthy at Work

April 2016

Staying healthy doesn't just mean avoiding a cold or flu. It also includes keeping our body physically healthy. When we sit at a desk all day, we tend to have poor posture. We slouch, our shoulders round forward or tend to creep up to our ears, all of which causes back pain, sore shoulders or even headaches. Many exercises and stretches are available to strengthen muscles, which in turn helps us with our posture and to have a healthier body.

Wall Angels can help strengthen your upper back and shoulders. Stand with your back against a wall and try to press your low back into the wall. Raise your arms to make a 'W.' Keep the back of your elbows, forearms, and wrists against the wall. Now move your arms up and down slowly in a small arc, keeping a bend in your elbow and your arms in contact with the wall. Repeat this 10 times.

Sometimes we tend to carry stress in our necks, which can lead to sore necks, shoulders or even headaches. Doing Neck Stretches can help reduce this. While sitting in a chair, place your left hand under the chair, as if to hold yourself in place. Tilt your head to the right; don't move your body, just your head. Hold this for 15 seconds. Then slowly turn your head as if you are trying to look at your shoulder. Hold this for 15 seconds. Repeat this on the other side. You can also do this standing. Instead of holding on the bottom of a chair, try pushing your left palm down to the floor while tilting your head to the right.

Hip Flexor Stretches are great for those who sit a lot during the day. Stand behind a chair in a split stance with one leg in front of the other. Hold on to the back of the chair and, keeping your hips facing forward, slowly lunge forward bending your front leg and keeping your back leg straight. Keep your chest up and try pushing your hips forward. Hold this for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.

If you are not able to do these, just get up and move from time to time. Get a drink of water, walk to a coworker's desk rather than call them. It will help to keep your body healthier.