30 Nov 2016, 14:04 — 4 min read
Your health may be at risk because of your daily office routine. On average, we spend eight hours sitting at the workplace, more time after that commuting sitting down and maybe even more time watching TV afterwards to unwind. Even if we exercise regularly, say one hour a day, we are susceptible to dangerous health problems like high blood pressure, obesity and muscle and joint pain. Sitting Disease, described in the first article of the series, can affect anyone.
Your health & fitness can be improved by incorporating simple exercises into the work routine. After learning a bit about all the possible problems one might face because of a sedentary lifestyle, it is easy to feel helpless. But truly, your health is in your hands. You can make all the changes required in a way that is unobtrusive at the workplace.
There is a branch of study known as ergonomics which aims to tailor a workplace to the needs of a worker. The area of study is vast, incorporating design, architecture and other disciplines in its study. But its uses are profound. For example, most people would have heard of ergonomic chairs. These chairs are necessary to prevent repetitive stress injuries and musculoskeletal disorders for those who are susceptible to them.
Other less commonly known prescriptions of ergonomics to our daily work routine would be to maintain optimal posture, avoid eye strain by adjusting the brightness of your screen, take breaks frequently and ensure your workplace is ergonomically designed. All these prescriptions make for better health outcomes and are quite easy to implement.
Eating right at the workplace is also an important aspect of ergonomics. Nutrition is an often neglected area at work with the dietary habits of most workers not being conducive to health and well-being. Sweet foods such as chocolate bars and soft drinks and salty foods like samosas and chips, though convenient to eat, can lead to high blood pressure and a whole host of other problems. Eating right is not difficult and complements a routine that involves some exercise at work and maybe a workout routine outside. You can eat fruits and vegetables like carrots and cucumbers for snacks, have tea instead of soft drinks and stay away from the stuff you know is not good for you. Drink lots of water as well, it is extremely good for the body.
In my previous article I shared some upper body exercises that you can do at your desk. In the video below are some simple workplace exercises for the lower body.
1. Spine stretch (prevents stiffness in the lower/middle back)
2. Toe stretch (improves blood circulation for the entire body)
3. Figure 8 or glutes stretch (prevents sciatica)
4. Calf stretch (prevents knee injuries and tendonitis)
Watch the video below for an illustration.
With the right combination of exercise at work, ergonomic practices and a better, more balanced and nutritious diet, you can stay healthy and be more productive at the workplace.
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By Daniel Remo