Pomerene Hospital Blog
Setbacks and Solutions
A long day at work does not have to be your excuse for feeling sluggish, not exercising, back pain and not having the energy you wish you had by the time 5pm rolls around. Most of us work long hours that involve sitting at a desk with limited access to movement. But that doesn’t mean you are doomed. It just means you have to be creative and make a decision to put some steps back into your day and get that body moving the way it is naturally meant to do.
Here are some solutions that can help you stay active during your work day:
Break time solutions: Yes, we are all guilt of keeping an eye on the clock and anticipate the break time buzzer. It’s understandable that when you have time for lunch, you feel like you are ready to relax. But, think a little deeper into this. You want to relax after sitting for the past 4 hours or going back and forth in the small 10 x 10 foot space you work in? Your brain is ready for a break and your stomach is probably growling and ready for lunch but your body does not need any more rest, it needs to move! Your brain, your muscles, your eyes, and your bottom need to get up and spend half of that lunch time moving. A 15 minute brisk walk can cover just about an entire mile in distance and it will leave you feeling energized, perked up, and ready for the rest of the day!
Tips for the walk:
- Bring gym shoes and socks to work for your lunch time walk.
- Time yourself or track your steps with a pedometer or tracking device.
- Get a buddy to walk with you and hold you accountable.
- Pack a lunch that you can eat while at your desk or munch on after your walk. A turkey or peanut butter sandwich would be perfect.
No time for break time solutions: Sometimes we don’t get the luxury of putting work away for a simple break or even a lunch break. Those days are the worst for your body and your brain but sometimes it happens. This is when the creativity and motivation has to kick in. You may not be able to get your heart rate up or burn major calories on these days but your brain, your muscles, and your posture deserve some attention regardless!
All you have to do is this: Get up and move! Stand up, walk to the drinking fountain, walk down the hall and back, or go say hi to a co-worker. You can even do some stretches, sit back down and get yourself back to work. Tiny breaks like this aren’t much, but they serve their benefits. The small bouts of movement and stretching will help increase blood flow, prevent muscular degeneration over time, and will give your body a chance to correct its ergonomic posture.
Tips for short additions of movement daily:
- Get a list of desk stretches and do 3 or 4 every day in your work space.
- Set a timer on your computer or your cell phone to go off every 30 minutes to remind you to either do a stretch, or get up and out of your seat for a brief greeting with a co-worker, or to get a drink of water.
-Learn to pause in your train of thought and put yourself first by doing something your body needs.
Blog written by: Tara Martin, Wellness Coordinator