As administrative professionals and transcriptionists, we often spend the majority of our work day sitting at a desk. Sometimes our workload doesn’t always allow us to take a break and move around as much as we would like. The good news is that there are steps that we can take to offset the shoulder-hunching, hip-stiffening effects of being glued to our office chair.
If you are able to move around every 30 minutes, it will do wonders for your posture and alleviate any pain. Less than a minute of movement twice every hour can help prevent a lot of issues down the road. It can be hard to remember to do this during a busy work day, however by the end of the day your body will thank you for remembering. Getting regular exercise daily is also a big help.
A Globe and Mail article from earlier this year, recommends that if you are strapped for time and can only manage to do two stretches at the end of a long workday, these are the ones to do, according to Toronto yoga teacher Cynthia Funk:
Your typical computer posture of head poking forward and shoulders rounding over your keyboard needs to be combated – this stretch does that. Stand with your feet, hip-distance apart. With your hands behind your back, interlace your fingers and draw your hands down toward the floor. You should immediately feel the stretch across your front. If you want a deeper variation, interlace your fingers with your hands behind your back again. Now bend your elbows and lift your arms up, lengthening them behind you. Bending at the elbows will allow you to open up further through the chest and armpits. Hold the pose for a minimum of five to 10 breaths.
Standing Forward Bend
With your feet hip-distance apart, bend at your hips and gently fold forward. Hold onto your elbows, with left hand at right elbow and vice versa, and let your head hang heavily. You can bend your knees as much as you need. There’s no need to keep your back straight. Round forward and allow this stretch to lengthen the entire back of your body, from your Achilles tendon all the way along your spine. Don’t force the stretch. Relax. Just breathe and let your body adjust into the pose. It may be too much for some people to hold this pose for long, but aim to stay here for about two minutes, or about 20 breaths, if you can.
Another thing you can do at work is set-up a good ergonomic workstation for yourself. This checklist reflects the ideal set-up of your workstation. Try all of these tips and stretches for a happy work day!
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