How many times have you found yourself sitting at the desk staring at the computer only to realise hours later you have not moved and your neck, shoulders and back have all tightened up?
Many of our clients suffer from this complaint so I thought I would put together a few tips on how to keep your body moving during a regular day at the office.
A sedentary lifestyle is becoming more common in our society and now there is new research linked to the detrimental effects it has on people’s health.
Poor posture whilst sitting doesn’t only effect full time office workers, other activities such as watching television, playing computer games or long periods of driving or commuting. All of these can cause some very common painful problems associated with your spine, and your general health and wellbeing.
How many hours are you sedentary each day? Whether it be at work, in the car, or at home, it all adds up. The detrimental effects of sitting are well documented with links to:
• chronic joint pain
• poor nutrition
• cardiovascular disease
• increased stress levels
• Chronic diseases; diabetes, cancer, early onset of dementia
The lack of physical activity deconditions your body, preventing proper function of your immune and nervous systems, making the body more susceptible to the health problems mentioned above.
The department of Health and aging recommend a minimum 30 mins of moderate daily exercise for adults and 60mins of moderate to vigorous exercise for 5-18 year olds.
If this is unrealistic for you due to longer working hours, try incorporating it into your commute to work by riding/walking part of the way to work or adding exercise into your lunch break. For a 1hr lunch break try – 30min walk + 30min lunch, for a 30min lunch break – 15min walk + 15min lunch. There are also many lunch time exercise groups available for those like minded active people trying to increase their daily activity levels.
Increased physical activity will not only improve your health, but can increase cognitive function, which in turn increases productivity.
Besides increasing your physical activity levels to improve wellness, there are several other areas that can decrease your total daily sitting time:
• Stand up on the bus/train
• Park further away then usual
• Use the stairs instead of the elevator
• Exercise while watching TV
• Drink more water, as this means more walks to the bathroom
• Do a few exercises/stretches every hour when at the office
Here are a few fast simple exercises to do when at work or after prolonged sitting. Hold each stretch as indicated and be sure NOT to stretch into pain.
FAST EASY EXERCISES
1. Neck stretch: take your ear towards your shoulder and hold for 15 seconds on each side.
2. While sitting or standing, raise your arms so your elbow and wrists stretch backwards as far as they can, then raise your arms above your head, slowly do this 5 times.
3. Squeeze your shoulder blades in and down and hold for 10 seconds, then repeat 3 times
4. Thoracic extension exercise: interlock your fingers behind your head and extend from your mid back pushing your chest forward. Repeat 3 times.
These simple desk exercises will help to increase mobility of your spine and help to stretch tight muscles, which are common sources of pain and stiffness gained from prolonged sitting.
As you can now see, a sedentary lifestyle has many detrimental effects of our health and not just the aches and pains that may present after a day of sitting. Years of office work and long hours can cause long term health problems and chronic disease, which in turn can shorten your life span or decrease the quality of life.
If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment at Neurohealth Chiropractic – please call the clinic on 9905 9099 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the contact form from our website www.neurohealthchiro.com.au
Sign up to receive Neurohealth Chiropractic’s Free monthly health newsletter on the Right Hand Side of this page. Filled with great information and lots of easy health tips to keep you at Optimal Health!