Workplace Health part two…

This month’s top tips:

  • Instead of using the equipment in your office, walk to a water fountain or photocopier on a different floor. Moving regularly can also help you think clearly and be more efficient.
  • Get some fresh air. This will help you think clearly and reawaken the senses.
  • Remember to drink plenty of fluids. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink around 1.6 litres and men 2.0 litres of fluid per day. However, it is important to note this is only a guideline; the amount a person needs to drink a day will depend on a range of factors. When you are exercising and during the summer months you should increase your fluid intake.

Common signs of dehydration to look out for:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Headaches
  • Feeling light headed
  • Lack of energy
  • Dark urine & not passing much when you go to the toilet

 

Sitting at a desk while hunched over your keyboard can cause strain to the cervical spine and stiffen your shoulders.  Stretching lengthens a muscle in one position.

Here are some simple seated-stretches you can do at work to help alleviate those aches and pains. Try to hold the stretch so that you feel a gentle pull in the area:

  1. – Neck Stretch:

Neck Stretch

  • While sitting at your desk, stretch your right arm towards the ground.
  • While doing this tilt your head to the left.
  • You should feel a stretch in the right side of your neck and shoulder.
  • Hold this for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • To make this stretch deeper, hold on to the edge of your seat and pull up, while leaning your head in the opposite direction.
  • Perform this stretch 3 times on each side.

 

  1. – Shoulder Shrugs: This is a great way to relax the shoulder while getting your circulation going.

Shoulder Shrug

  • Lift your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds and release them back down.
  • Repeat this 8-10 times.

 

  1. – Arm Stretch:

Arm Stretch

  • Gently interlock your fingers.
  • Push your palms away from your body, gently stretching the forearm muscles, fingers and shoulder blades.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Then twist your palms so they are facing away from you and hold for 10 seconds.

 

4. – Upper-Back Stretch:

This is a great exercise to stretch out the upper back which can become tight especially if you hunch your shoulders.

Upper Back Stretch

  • Stretch your arms straight out in front, rotate your arms so your palms are facing away from each other
  • Cross your arms so that your palms are now pressed together.
  • Contract the abs and round the back, reach away with your arms and relax the head.
  • Imagine you are curving up and over a ball. Hold this stretch for 10-30 seconds and repeat.

 

  1. Cat-Cow Stretch:

This movement will stretch out your cervical spine.

Cat-Cow Stretch

  • Place both hands on your knees.
  • Inhale, arch the back and look up to the ceiling, exhale and round the spine, allowing your head to drop forward, imagine curving over a ball.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

 

  1. – Spine & Shoulder Stretch:

Spine & Shoulder Stretch

  • Loosely grasp your hands behind your neck.
  • Push your elbows back, your shoulder blades squeezing together.
  • Avoid pressing into the neck.
  • Hold for 10 seconds and release.

 

  1. – Torso Twist:

Torso Twist

  • Sitting slightly forward in your seat, rotate your upper body to the right, holding on to the backrest of your chair with your left hand.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Do the same on the opposite side.

 

  1. – Single-Leg Stretch:

This is a simple but effective stretch.

Single Leg Stretch

  • Sit on the edge of your chair.
  • Straighten one leg in front of you, foot flat on the floor, keeping your knee straight.
  • Press your heel into the ground.
  • Lean forward at your waist, thinking of touching your belly button to your thigh.
  • Don’t collapse into your spine.
  • For a deeper stretch flex your foot upwards before leaning forward at your waist.
  • Hold for 10-30 seconds and then repeat on the other leg.

In the next instalment we will be providing some more top tips and some stretches you can do while standing up.

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