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Moving Never Stops - Stretches and Exercises for the Busy Office Employee

By Physiotherapist, Taylor Borys

It’s true that many of us have very busy, stressful and time consuming careers which don't allow us to get up and move as often as we should. Many excuses are used such as: there isn’t enough time, my manager will become frustrated, or even that it will reduce my productivity. However, research has found that taking routine movement breaks increase work efficiency, job satisfaction and overall quality of work.

These movement breaks do not have to be time consuming, cumbersome and do not have to break the bank. It is actually suggested that every hour an individual should step away from the desk and recenter their focus. One of the most simplistic forms of movement breaks is to get up and take a short walk. It could be as easy as walking for a glass of water or even just doing a lap of the office. Even if stepping away from the desk isn’t your thing then there are other options like stretching which can easily be done right from your chair. Refer below for a short stretching program to keep your body moving and your mind energized.

1) Interlock your fingers, straighten your elbows, ensure your palms are facing away and reach forward. Hold 10-20 seconds and perform 2 times

2) Interlock your fingers, straighten your elbows, ensure your palms are facing away and reach to the sky. Hold 10-20 seconds and perform 1 time

3) With one hand reach overhead and grab your opposite elbow. Lean towards the opposite side of the elbow causing the side of your core to arc. Hold 8-10 seconds and perform each side

4) Interlock your fingers, straighten your elbows, ensure your palms are facing away and reach to the sky. Hold 10-20 seconds and perform 1 time

5) Perform a shoulder shrug with both shoulders at the same time. Hold 3-5 seconds and perform 3 times

6) Grasp one of your hands behind your back. Pull down on the grasped hand and bend your neck away from said side. Hold 10-12 seconds and perform on each side

7) Put your palms together in the centre of your chest and while they stay in contact move your hands towards the ground. Hold 10 seconds

8) Put your palms together in the centre of your chest and while they stay in contact rotate your finger tips away from your body. Hold 10 seconds

9) While sitting have one arm reach to the sky and at the same time have the other arm reach to the ground. Hold 8-10 seconds and perform each side

10) While sitting, cross your legs while applying extra pressure with the opposite hand. Also rotate your core in the opposite direction of the crossed leg. Hold 8 – 10 seconds and perform on each side

11) While sitting put both hands in the small of your back and arc your back looking up towards the sky. Hold 10-15 seconds and perform 2 times

12) Shake out your hands. Perform for 8 – 10 seconds

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As one can see, moving while at work doesn’t have to be difficult. The only thing holding you back from feeling better is you. Now stop with the excuses, get moving and witness first hand how activity not only makes you feel better but leads to better work, lifestyle and overall health.  Book an assessment with Taylor to determine the exercises best suited for you.

Lynn Redmondstretches