Planning a more Active Workday
Just after getting up in the morning we eat breakfast, step into the car and drive to work. In the office, we spend the whole day sitting at a desk. And upon coming home in the evening, we retire to the sofa and have thus spent almost the whole day sitting. STOP. This is where changes must be made and new patterns developed. Leave the car keys at home, use public transport more often and start walking or riding a bike to work. Adopting a healthier lifestyle first involves overcoming lazy habits and tendencies, which admittedly, is not always an easy task. Nevertheless, a conscious effort to avoid motorised transport will quickly result in substantial gains. You will feel fitter and will not find yourself out of breath as easily. A more active workday is also the best preventative measure against health problems.
A lack of movement is in most cases also a reason for chronic back and neck pain. Stretches and strength exercises allow you to relax target muscle groups with very little time and effort to aid in preventing serious back problems.
Similarly, back tension is often the product of bad posture during prolonged sitting. The severity of back tension and associated pain can be countered with a few simple exercises. One of the simplest goes as follows:
Sit straight on your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Stretch your arms upwards into the air, then lower each arm 90° to your side. Try to pull your shoulder blades together until you notice tension. Try to maintain this tension. Repeat this exercise several times for best results.
As with the back and neck, working at a screen is also taxing for the eyes. The most basic exercise for relieving eye tension is to focus your gaze as far away as possible in all directions. Look left and right, up and down, diagonally and in circles, clockwise and anti-clockwise. Repeat this exercise several times for best results. It would be ideal to pause after each step by closing your eyes.
However, targeted exercises are only one aspect of improved back health. Often, a general change in mindset can revolutionise work habits and effect great improvement.
The following considerations may help:
Which tasks can I do standing up?
How can I integrate more movement into my workday?
Do I really have to sit down during my break?