In the old days, going to work meant manual labor, some heavy lifting, and a healthy amount of time spent on your feet. But for most of us, those days are over. The assembly lines and sweaty job sites have largely been replaced with office chairs and Excel spreadsheets. And while this may seem like a positive change for efficiency – who wouldn’t trade a coal mine for an air-conditioned office – the long days of sitting at a desk can spell disaster. Sitting in one place all day increases our risk for obesity, not to mention potential back pain, poor posture, and leg cramps.
So what can we do about it? The recipe for these stationary risks is movement, so it’s time to get your employees moving. Not only is it good for the body – short bouts of exercise and stretching during the day can improve fitness and heart health – it’s good for business as well. Studies have shown employees that move regularly throughout the day are more alert and more productive.
Here are a few activities your employees can do to boost their wellness:
- Take the Stairs. It’s simple, but substituting the stairs for the elevator can elevate heart rate and improve leg strength over time. As a bonus, you’ll avoid elevator awkwardness!
- The Chest Stretch. This is one of the best exercises desk workers can do, because so many of us spend our time hunched forward. While seated, extend your arms behind you and hold one wrist with your free hand, then push your chest forward and arms back.
- The Neck Stretch. Touch your ear to your shoulder and hold it there for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. This can actually help with neck AND back strain.
- Tap Those Feet! Simply tapping your toes on the floor under your desk helps stimulate blood flow and reduces the possibility for cramps.
- Celebratory Squat Jumps. These are our personal favorite. When you win a new client or finally master the new sales software, get up and celebrate! With feet hip-width apart, squat to 90 degrees, and then jump straight up with your arms above your head. Repeat 10 times and pat yourself on the back for job well done.
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