How to Be Active Without Getting Up From Your Office Chairs
By Andrew Stratton
No matter how much health and medical advice changes from year to year, one message that remains constant throughout the years is the importance of physical movement. The human body was not designed to sit in office chairs for hours every day, and it’s important to keep moving to keep the body running at its full capacity. Luckily, there are some routines that can be done without even stepping away from office chairs, and can keep you active and invigorated throughout the day.
First and foremost, it’s vital to be aware of your posture. If you’re sitting in old office chairs that haven’t been updated recently, odds are you might be slumping or crooked as you sit. It’s important to sit up straight with your shoulders back, your neck straight, and your spine fully aligned. This will not only invigorate you during the day, but it will keep you from suffering any unnecessary back complications down the road.
After your spine and back, your neck may be suffering the most from days of sitting in office chairs. It can be difficult to be aware of your head drooping or twisting, but you’ll certainly feel it at night when your neck begins to ache. To combat this, move your head slowly forward and backward and from side to side. Performing this movement once every few hours will allow the muscles in your neck to relax and relieve stress as well as preventing any potential knots from developing.
One of the biggest concerns for any office worker, especially one who spends the day typing or writing, is carpal tunnel syndrome. This slowly developing affliction is the result of overexertion of the joints in the hands. To help prevent the condition from developing, it can be helpful to stop at least once per hour and roll your wrists – ten times clockwise and ten times counterclockwise. This will loosen the muscles and cause you to be mindful of whether you’re developing any pain or tension in the area.
If you’ve had a job that involved sitting in office chairs for several years now, something to consider is the potential of blood clots developing due to extensive periods of physical inactivity. To prevent this, it can be extremely beneficial to move your legs. Luckily, this can be done while still sitting, so you never have to stop working. One simple exercise is to lift your legs onto the balls of your feet and then relax them back to the ground. If you repeat this until your muscles begin to feel tired every hour or so, it will improve the circulation in your legs without you ever having to stand up.
It can be difficult to find a happy balance between physical health and productivity at work, and taking long breaks to stretch and focus can be time-consuming. Luckily, your health doesn’t have to take time away from your work, and it’s easy to incorporate movement into your routine.