Are you spending most of your day sitting down, whether it’s in the office, at home, during your commute, or in lectures and classes? If so, you’re not alone. In today’s modern lifestyle, desk work has become increasingly prevalent, and prolonged sitting has become the norm for many people. However, the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on our health and well-being cannot be underestimated. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of movement for desk workers and explore practical ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine.
Why do we have to move?
Our bodies have developed to be moving up and around, so staying in a prolonged position for extended periods of time is not recommended. By moving and getting up on your feet you will notice:
- increased energy
- improved mood
- clearer mind
- higher metabolism
- increase blood flow
- improved posture
It is recommended to change positions every 45-55 minutes, and this change of position can be a short walk in the room, standing up and completing a couple of squats or some stretches that we will go over next!
1. Exercises and stretches
The two images below show a variety of office stretches and exercises that you can do when sitting at your desk! It is important to make sure that all parts of your body are moving and not just your typing hands. These will help you move different parts of your body that have remained stationary while you work. It is important to get up and move every 45-55 minutes.
The first diagram shows a large variety of stretches that are held for 10-15 seconds each, they provide a good base for exercises as they target the neck, upper, mid, and lower backs, chest, arms and legs.
It would be a good idea to start with 1 round of each of these office stretches and to do 2 rounds or do the stretch twice before moving on to the next one.
The second image has three different groups of exercises with one exercise to be done every hour! However, this is not enough!
The target you should aim for is to complete all 12 exercises every 44-55 minutes, but if you do not have enough time, try complete one of the sections (4 exercises) every 44-55 minutes. Like the previous set of exercises and office stretches these targets all different parts of your body, allowing movement throughout!
However, this one is different as it has different repetitions and times for the exercises! This will feel more like an exercise routine which can be much more fun for some people!
2. Change the way you sit
During the working day, some people would spend nearly all their time sitting down, whether this is at their desk, on public transport or in a car. Not much movement is being done at this time, is it? One possible method to change how you sit and to increase your movement is to change the way you sit! The use of:
- standing desks
- exercise balls
Are a good way to get you to get up from your chair and move around.
People have also added pedal bikes or a treadmill during work to ensure they can keep on moving as well!
3. Fitting it in!
Many people have trouble with when and how they can fit movement, exercises and stretches into their daily work schedule and routines. So, what are some helpful tips that you can use to fit in some time to get moving:
- set up a timer (45-55 mins)
- whenever you are waiting for a meeting, loading screen, microwave or message to be received.
- volunteer to be the one who has to pick up the coffee, set up the meeting room or tasks that get you out of the chair.
- stand up when taking a call.
4. Add walking to your everyday routine
Walking is another simple exercise that many can do with very little financial, time and space cost. But when and where else can you possibly fit in these walks?
- By getting off one stop before or after when using public transport
- Park a bit further away from the entrance when using a carpark
- Have a walk down the street or around the block before you enter your home
- Or a much simpler one
- Walk to a colleague to tell them a simple message instead of using email, teams or slack!
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator!
5. Take your lunch break outside
An action such as changing your lunch location will add a little bit of exercise and can be the start of something more. By moving yourself from your usual lunch location, you are already moving more than you were previously. This then can also grow to a short walk down the building, down the street, or around the block! This can even develop into a lunchtime exercise session in your everyday routine. Walking and going somewhere else will not only change your environment and get you moving but can also have the benefits of being calming and relaxing.
6. Use a drink bottle!
Keeping a drink bottle by your desk is a good way to keep a little weight by your side. As a drink bottle can vary from as small or as large as you want, that gives you a good variety of different weights to use. By moving the drink bottle as you would a dumbbell you would be able to get different types of exercise right at your desk!
Not only that, you will have a source of hydration right there by your side, and a reason to get up and move to refill the bottle or to go to the bathroom!
Prioritizing Movement for Desk Workers: Tips from Home Physio Melbourne for a Healthier Workday
In today’s sedentary work culture, it’s crucial for desk workers to prioritize movement and ergonomic practices to prevent musculoskeletal issues and promote overall well-being. Home Physio Melbourne promotes incorporating movement into the workday, optimizing office ergonomics, and improving posture.
For personalized recommendations or assessment, consider consulting with one of our experience exercise physiologists. Take proactive steps to prioritize your health and well-being at work with Home Physio Melbourne’s professional guidance.