Pictured above: Renee Hall (left), occupational therapist and clinical supervisor of outpatient therapy at USA; and USA Physical Therapist Joan S. Friedlander
Individuals who work at a desk every day are prone to muscle fatigue from overexertion, poor posture, and repetitive stress injuries.
“Our bodies aren't designed to be in one position for hours at a time,” said Renee Hall, occupational therapist and clinical supervisor of outpatient therapy at the University of South Alabama Orthopaedic Rehab Center. “Sitting also slows down your metabolism and can increase your chance of obesity, as well as lead to other conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.”
With this in mind, for those who work at a desk there are several habits you can develop to help avoid these issues and feel better at the end of each work day.
Hall recommends that you give your muscles a 20-second to two-minute break throughout the workday to help avoid repetitive stress injuries.
“Stop what you’re doing and change tasks so your muscles can rest, or do some stretching exercises for your arms and your back,” she said. “I recommend to my patients that every two hours they stand up from their chair and stretch the lower back and upper body. In addition, if you work at a computer you should get up from your chair and change your task every 30 minutes.” You should also stretch your neck, shoulder, hands, forearms, torso and lower extremities spontaneously throughout the day.
USA Physical Therapist Joan S. Friedlander said there are several stretches that are easy to do at your desk or in your cubicle:
For a demonstration of these stretches, watch the video below.
In addition, Friedlander recommends doing the following muscle-strengthening/aerobic exercises throughout the work day:
Other tips for staying energized during the work day include the following:
To make an appointment at the USA Orthopaedic Rehab Center, call (251) 665-8201.
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