Do you have a desk job where you spend hours at a stretch, busy with your work? This is the case with most urban jobs and the sedentary lifestyle leads to poor postures and several health complications. Although job requirements are different and you may not be able to do much about them, experts say people should make time to stretch and exercise even when they’re at their desk. Shyam Dhumal, Co-Founder, PrognoHealth Solutions India Pvt. Ltd, shares, “Incorporating workplace exercise and stretching into our daily routine can help counteract these effects, improve posture, and promote a more active, healthier lifestyle.”
Easy office exercises
Shyam Dhumal lists some effective exercises and stretches that can be easily done in the workplace. Find out how to do exercises and their benefits:
1. Shoulder rolls
How to do: Sit or stand straight and slowly roll your shoulders back in a circular motion.
Frequency: Perform 10 to 15 shoulder rolls every hour.
Benefits: Shoulder rollers help relieve tension in the neck and upper back, improve shoulder mobility and promote better posture.
2. Neck stretches
How to do: Sit or stand straight and gently tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear close to your shoulder. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Frequency: Perform neck stretches every 1-2 hours, especially if you feel tension or discomfort in your neck.
Benefits: Neck stretches release tension in the neck and upper back, alleviate stiffness, and improve neck flexibility and range of motion.
3. Seated spinal twist
How to do: Sit up straight in your chair, place your right hand on the back of your chair and gently rotate your upper body to the right. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Frequency: Perform seated spinal twists every 1-2 hours to release tension in the spine and improve spinal mobility.
Benefits: This exercise helps reduce back stiffness, increases spinal rotational motion, and promotes good posture.
4. Push-ups in the office
How to do: Stand facing your desk, place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the desk, step back at an angle and perform push-ups against the desk, keeping your body straight. Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the desk, then push up.
Frequency: Perform 10-15 push-ups in the office every 2-3 hours.
Benefits: Desk push-ups engage the chest, arms, and core muscles, promoting upper body strength, posture, and blood circulation.
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Precautions to follow
Shyam Dhumal says that while it’s important to stretch and do these exercises in the office, here are some precautions to take:
– Avoid any exercise or stretch that causes pain or discomfort. Modify or ignore these moves.
– Perform exercises and stretches in a controlled manner, without sudden or jerky movements.
– Pay attention to your surroundings and make sure you have enough space to perform the exercises safely.
– If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries, consult a medical professional before beginning any new exercise routine.
Who should avoid certain stretches
Not all exercises can be done by everyone. “People with specific medical conditions or injuries should avoid certain stretches without consulting a medical professional. If you have chronic neck or back pain, herniated discs, or any other spinal condition, see a health professional for proper exercise and stretching,” says Dhumal. It lists a few do’s and don’ts:
– Take regular breaks by incorporating short walks or stretching sessions into your routine.
– Set reminders or use work apps to prompt you to perform exercises and stretches at regular intervals.
– Consider using ergonomic equipment, such as an adjustable chair, standing desk, or keyboard and mouse, to promote good posture and reduce strain.
– Incorporating workplace exercises and stretches into your daily routine can dramatically improve your posture, reduce sedentary behaviors and improve your overall well-being.
– Remember to start slowly, listen to your body and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the exercises. By prioritizing your physical health at work, you can create a more active and productive lifestyle.