Wellness in the Workplace

When working a job over an extended period of time, one that follows a monotonous, desk-bound, movement-limited routine, people undergo a bodily evolution that leads to docility and depleted muscle retention. According to Dr. James A. Levine of the Mayo Clinic, sitting too much throughout a day has been linked to obesity, increases in blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and irregular cholesterol levels. What makes the risks associated with too much sitting even more of a legitimate matter to consider is the fact that even with regular physical activity in a weekly routine, research suggests that even then, it is STILL difficult to stagger the risk. There are ways, however, to combat these risks and break up the sitting streaks that last for hours on end in a typical work day.

Get Moving in the Workplace

Practitioners at the Mayo Clinic have helped to develop a simple, in-office stretching routine that helps promotes blood flow, digestive fluidity, muscular function, and alertness. The first movement one can do in the stillness of an office workplace is the ‘Shoulder Stretch’: simply place a hand under the opposite elbow, pulling that arm across the chest towards the opposite shoulder, and holding for thirty seconds. Repeat three times over on each arm.

The next exercise, especially applicable for those who may stare at a computer screen all day, is called ‘Neck Circles’: begin by tucking the chin as tightly as possible to the top of the chest, then slowly rotating clockwise, and then counterclockwise. The revolution of the neck rotation should take no less than thirty seconds, and be accompanied by deep controlled breathing technique.

To loosen the often-tight lumbar area, sit upright in your chair at your desk, then, while interlocking your hands behind the back of your knee, bring the leg in the bent position as close to the chest as possible. Hold for thirty seconds and then repeat on the other leg.

Healthy Eating in the Workplace

Another commonly occurring health liability in everyday routine is the diet most people maintain at work. While the brain is in a state of isolated concentration for hours on end, it can be easy to forget to drink any water or even consume a single wholesome meal. To combat the dehydration and malnourishment that most people unknowingly experience in a day, bring a reusable water bottle to work with a preset consumption goal in mind. An example of a feasible consumption goal would be to drink an entire gallon of water spanning the course of a day, or to make sure to eat healthy snacks in between meals, like celery and peanut butter, or a handful of almonds, or an apple.

By telling yourself at the beginning of a day that these small, attainable health goals must be reached daily, new habits will begin to replace the previously existent unhealthy routine. Maintaining a stable rostrum of internal will is also an important factor while trying to improve workplace wellness; common health liabilities that are frequently found in the workplace are donuts, canned sodas, synthetically altered snacks, fast food via means of catering, and, yes, even excessive coffee consumption. It is important to find replacement for all of these vices that your brain deems just as valuable and satisfying. While that may sound difficult, it will only take a marginal period of dedicated time to replace old habits and infatuations with more progressive and healthier tendencies.

Reference: Levine, J. A. (2105, September 4). What are the risks of sitting too much? Retrieved April 30, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

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