8 Ways for Office Workers To Keep Moving At Work

Any worker may suffer from aches and pains. Work environments, repetitive motions, and postures often lead to injuries. You may be a tradie out on a construction site or a computer worker sitting at a desk. A variety of tasks performed at work can often lead to sore and stiff muscles and joints. Especially for those people who sit at a desk for prolonged periods of their day. For example

• Hunching the shoulders and
• Slouching forwards to look at a computer screen

These two postures may lead to tightness through the upper back, shoulders, and neck. Muscular tension in the upper spine may result in tension headaches.

Most office workers are aware of the importance of having the right desk set up. The monitor, keyboard, chair, and mouse all placed in an optimal position for their body. Many offices now even have standing desks! Standing improves ergonomics and prevents prolonged periods of sitting. Even with the best desk set up, many workers will still find themselves getting sore and tight by the end of the day. The reason? They aren’t getting enough movement! Staying in the same position for prolonged periods is not good for your body. Long term inactivity can even lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
However, it doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you would think to keep moving while at work. Here are some simple tips you can add to your everyday routine. These ideas can help break up the time being in the same position, whether that be sitting or standing.

1. Move around the office as much as possible:
Rather than calling or emailing a colleague, why not walk across the office and speak to them face to face. If you are often trapped at your desk, try and get up at least every 45-60 minutes for at least 5 minutes. Get a glass of water from the kitchen or simply doing a lap of the office, every bit of movement helps. Nowadays there are even Apps that you can download onto your computer or phone to remind you to get up and move. These Apps allow you to set it up according to your work schedule. Stand Up! The Work break timer is great; you can download to your iPhone from the app store.

2. Turn waiting time into exercise time:
Try and perform simple exercises such as squats or calf raises when waiting. If you’re on the phone at your desk, try simple squats by standing up and sitting down. Squat 10-15 times every time you make a call. When you're waiting at the photocopier, 10-20 calf raises can get your leg muscles moving. Do these a couple of occasions each day, and you’ve managed to work your legs and glutes without even leaving the office.

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Chair-Squat-Exercise-954087

https://www.spotebi.com/exercise-guide/calf-raises/

3. Change your desk:
Have a sit/stand desk? Try spending the morning standing and afternoon sitting (or vice versa). Or try and modify the position of the desk every 45-60 minutes. It is better to keep your body moving than to stay in the same position for a prolonged amount of time. Try switching the mouse to the opposite side every now and again. Use your opposite hand and arm. Challenge your mind to adapt to the change, particularly if you’re right hand dominant.

4. Take the stairs when possible:
Try and take the stairs as often as possible rather than taking the lifts. When you need to go to the toilet, rather than to go to the closest one why not go up or down a level from your office. Take the stairs and fit some exercise into your day.

5. Have a standing or walking meeting:
If you have a small group or a one on one meeting, why not try and get outside and go for a walk around the block while you talk. Not only will it get you moving but the fresh air will also be a real change from a stuffy meeting room. If you have a larger group meeting and a walk isn’t possible, try and get everyone standing for a part or all of the meeting.

6. Get up and move in your breaks:
Try and get up and move as much as possible in any breaks you have. It can be as short as going to the kitchen and eating with other colleagues. Try to get outside and go for a short walk around the block after you’ve eaten. The change of scenery will also help refresh your mind and clear your head from sitting in the same space all day.

7. Try walking or riding to work once per week:
If you don’t live too far from work, lace up your runners to ride/walk to work, as often as you can each week. Why not try walking/riding to the train station or bus stop rather than driving there. If you can't ditch the car altogether, try to park a few blocks away and walk to work.

8. Stretch at your desk:
Stretching is another important step that can be easily added to your day. Simple stretches at your desk may help to prevent muscle tightness and soreness. The picture below will show you several stretches you can perform whilst at work and can you can save the image for easier access whilst at work.

 

 stretches

Adding in a few, or all of these tips to your work day can help to keep you moving and in turn prevent many aches and pains. However, if you have any questions or existing aches/pains from work feel free to make an appointment to discuss how osteopathy may be able to help you.

back pain

Osteopathy and Sports Injuries

Many people think that Osteopathy is all about treating back pain; however, Osteopaths are also able to help treat and manage a wide variety of sporting injuries. They can treat anyone from the weekend warrior to elite athletes, young growing children to the active elderly.

Figures show that almost two thirds (59%[1]) of Aussies participate in sports, and alarmingly 1 in 3 (37%[2]) of those will struggle with a sport-related injury each year. Injuries can occur due to any type of sport, whether it be football, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, calisthenics, lacrosse or even lawn bowls.

Common injuries that osteopaths treat include; ankle sprains, jarred fingers, strained hamstrings, shin splints, shoulder instability and tennis elbow just to name a few! Osteopaths are trained to examine and treat the entire body, so don’t think any injury is too small or large for them to assess.

Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners, so they are qualified to perform any necessary physical, orthopaedic or postural examinations and tests in order to formulate a diagnosis. If needed they can also refer for imaging such as x-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds to further confirm their diagnosis.

Seeking treatment promptly after an injury will often allow a quicker return to physical activity and prevent any compensations from occurring. If an injury is left for too long untreated it can often lead to further injury and therefore longer time needed to recover and more time spent on the sidelines.

The initial goal of osteopathic treatment for an injury is to decrease pain, inflammation and swelling of the affected area. This may involve the use of soft tissue massage, gentle mobilisation, articulation, stretching and manipulation. As well as providing hands on treatment, osteopaths are also able to prescribe and recommend different stretches and exercises to further aid in recovery which allows the patient to be an active participant in their recovery.

Osteopathic treatment will look not only at relieving the symptoms of an injury but will also identify factors as to why the injury occurred in the first place. Osteopaths are focused on enhancing the structure and function of the body which can then aid in preventing a similar injury from occurring again and/or improve future performance.

Even if you don’t currently have any injury, but are physically active and play any sport, treatment from an osteopath can often help in preventing future injuries from occurring. Treatment is focused on enhancing the biomechanics of the joints and muscles required for different sports. By improving the structure and function of your body it will allow it to perform at an optimal level and decrease the chances of an injury occurring.  An example of this would be treating a cricketer to improve the range of movement of their shoulder. This will then allow them to use their shoulder without any restriction which will then hopefully improve their bowling. 

If any of this sounds like you, why not give osteopathy a try? Give us a call on 03 9431 6604 or book online at www.greensboroughosteopathy.com.au

Written by Dr Emma Cronin (Osteopath)

 

[1]https://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/658828/34683_AusP... (59% or 14.23M people)

[2] https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/hospital-care-for-australian-spor... (5.2M people)

Sports Injury