Working in an office or home-based job often involves a lot of desk work and sitting for long hours. While this may not seem like a problem, many doctors argue that lack of movement and sitting for too long can have several detrimental effects on health. This includes increased risk for diabetes, heart problems, and obesity.
To lessen the chance of developing these health problems, here are a few exercises to squeeze in between work time to get our bodies moving:
1. Take walking breaks. A ten minute (or greater) walking break can stretch leg muscles while improving our focus and concentration. Try walking around the office or take the stairs for a short period before heading back to work.
2. Calf raises. Standing by the copy machine or waiting to make our copies can actually be a great exercise opportunity! While standing, slowly raise the heels off the ground, keeping proper posture, then slowly bring them back down. Repeat this exercise a few times throughout the day.
3. Stretch. Depending on the office arrangement, privacy might not be an option (especially for offices with open cubicles). To prevent distracting other employees, try to do stretches in a secluded area outside the office or in an empty pantry/closet/meeting room.
4. Muscle clenches. This set of exercises focuses on abs and buttocks. Clench the muscles for a few seconds, then release. Do each set with 10-15 reps.
5. Breathing exercises. Our minds need to relax, too! Deep breathing exercises release tension and can be performed while working. To do this, remember to hold each deep breath for a few seconds, focusing on posture and holding in muscles before slowly exhaling and releasing muscle tension.
There are many types of exercises we can do during and between work hours. PARC of Ontario provides several physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for anyone who needs to incorporate exercise in their daily routine. Our friendly team of professional therapists can provide consultations and exercise programs that work best for you. To contact us, please refer to this list of centres and give us a call to schedule an appointment.