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4 Ways to Incorporate Movement Into Your Workplace

If you sit behind a desk all day with little or no activity, you could be compromising your physical health, mental health, and brain health which could impact your productivity at work. From a physical standpoint, it isn’t healthy to remain in one position for too long. It can lead to various health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Experts advise getting up and walking around every hour or so or do exercises at your desk.

Healthy brain function can also be impacted by inactivity. If you sit at work without moving for long periods of time your brain could suffer. The lack of activity could cause it to enter into a state of slumber which can lead to a decrease in brain processing speed and short term memory loss.

It can also impact a person’s ability to learn or retain new information. This is why it is so important to create an organizational culture that encourages movement as part of their workday.

There are four areas where you can incorporate movement into your own workplace: policies, places, people, and permission.

Policies

Create written policies that encourage and advocate movement during work hours. Incorporate moving workstations, moving meetings, flexible scheduling, more breaks when meetings run long, and a movement friendly dress code.

Provide information and training to all employees and leadership underlining the importance of the policies and explaining the importance of movement as well as what they can do to support the initiative.

Places

Create work-spaces that are conducive to movement, adjusting workstations so that they encourage active movement and incorporating active movement into current processes and workflows while minimizing the time employees spend sitting.

Seek out software and applications that encourage users to stretch or get up and move while they are working. Make stairwells more accessible and appealing, improve common areas, and encourage collaboration that requires moving to various workstations or common areas.

People

Identify employees who are good role models for movement and train them for leadership roles so that they can encourage other employees to make movement a part of their work day. Train them in the policies regarding movement and task them with helping to create a culture of health and movement within the organization.

Organize groups to walk during breaks or meet in common areas for light stretching and other types of movement. Sponsor contests and competitions with prizes for employees who achieve set goals.

Permission

Educate all employees and all levels or management or leadership on the benefits of movement and how it can positively impact personal production and performance as well as organizational outcomes. Stress that moving during the work day should become a normal activity and must be welcomed and allowed. Emphasize that it is the task of all employees to make a culture of movement the norm as opposed to the exception.

The benefits of bringing movement into the workplace extends far beyond healthier employees and increased production. Employees perceive themselves as valuable to the organization and morale is increased. This improves employee engagement on the job and they invest more into their work as opposed to just doing a job. They are happier, empowered, and more productive at work and take more of an active role in business outcomes as well as their own health.

Of course, employees will also enjoy individual benefits such as increased blood flow, as well as improved problem solving, better alertness, and enhanced creativity. A workplace that incorporates movement into its culture is a healthier, happier place to work with healthier, happier employees. You can’t afford to not implement this simple, effective strategy into your own organizational culture.

4 Tips For Desk Workers To Avoid Neck And Back Pain

sitting correctlyThere are dangers in everyday life, from slipping in the shower to getting mowed down by the next door neighbor’s teenage driver. The risk doesn’t end once we are safely behind our desks, because… sitting is killing us!

Seriously, while not really trying to commit murder, our computer, desk, office chair and keyboard are not our friends. We spend hours each day sitting, typing, staring at the computer screen, and this inactivity is wreaking havoc on our health in a variety of ways.

First, most of us sit incorrectly

Goldilocks knew what she was doing when it came to carefully selecting the right chair. Most of us cause excess stress and pressure on our neck, shoulders, and back from the way we sit in our inadequate office chairs.

According to OSHA, a person who spends time at their computer needs to choose an adjustable chair that supports the back, buttocks, legs and arms. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day as well. An ergonomically adjusted chair minimizes the occurrences of awkward, strained positions that frequently cause injury.

Along with the way we sit, our office jobs are killing us because…

We have our desks laid out wrong

Even with a great chair, a desk that is the wrong height can cause a person to repetitively move and bend awkwardly during the day and injure themselves. Anyone who sits behind a desk needs to make certain it is the right height to comfortably reach the computer keyboard and all pertinent supplies are within a comfortable reach. Add a foot rest to decrease the stress on the lower back. Ergonomically positioning a desk offers greater comfort and less stress on a person’s body.

We also type wrong

Using the keyboard incorrectly can cause a ton of painful medical conditions from neck and back issues to carpal tunnel syndrome. The keyboard should sit at elbow height. Reduce the strain on your hands by keeping them in as natural a position as possible, holding your wrists up even with the backs of your hands. Avoid banging the keys by typing softly, which alleviates the stress on your fingers.

A computer mouse should be situated close to the keyboard, and it’s essential to keep the hand in a neutral position when using it. Avoid resting your hand on the mouse for an extended period of time.

Not taking breaks

According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for long periods of time is linked to a variety of serious medical conditions from obesity to high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Sitting in the same position for hours can put pressure on and result in back and neck pain.

Break up sitting every 30 minutes by standing and walking around and stretching if possible. Even standing for a couple of minutes at a time lessens the impact of a sedentary job.

In addition to taking the initiative to build an ergonomic office space, choosing to participate in chiropractic care is a great way to help eliminate pain from back, shoulder, and neck strain. Chiropractic treatment involves adjusting the spine, along with other techniques, which allows for greater mobility and fewer aches and pains.

An ergonomic office setup is critical in maintaining good posture that minimizes strain and repetitive motion injuries. By investing in ergonomically tailored furniture and setting it up to suit your specific needs, you will lessen the harm an office job does to your body.

If you or a co-worker suffer from symptoms related to an improperly positioned workstation, give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic can help get the symptoms under control as well as guide you toward a more healthier spine and working environment.