Building an exercise routine into a hectic schedule is essential for office workers. Many of us are exposed to extended hours of sitting at our desks. Office workers are at a higher risk of experiencing repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). These develop from repeated, rapid, and forceful movements that affect the body’s muscles, nerves, and tendons. According to Statistics Canada, over two million Canadians suffer from RSIs as a result of work-related activities. The good news is that RSIs can be prevented by committing to brief and consistent exercise routines during office hours.
Incorporate these ten simple exercises to keep work-related injuries at bay.
- “Raise the Roof” (20 reps)
With your palms facing up and your thumbs almost touching your shoulders, push toward the ceiling while marching in place. To add a little intensity, hold two water bottles in each hand.
- “The Hulk” (20 reps)
While standing or marching in place, bend forward (from the hips) about 45 degrees. Bend your elbows, put your fists together in front, and then move your arms back like wings. Try to touch your shoulder blades together.
- Hamstring and Arm Curls (20 reps)
Bend your arms at the elbow. Bring one foot up to your rear end while you straighten your arms so that hands are down when your foot is up.
- Knee Lift (20 reps)
Similar to the previous exercise, except raise your knee in front (while keeping your “core” engaged) as your arms go down.
- Punching (20 reps)
Punch with alternating arms while rocking from foot to foot. Try not to straighten your arms fully when you punch to reduce elbow stress.
- Desk Pushups (10 reps)
Place hands on the edge of your desk (if it’s stable enough to support your body weight) and put your legs, parallel, behind you. Shoulder width apart, push off your body, applying as much force as possible.
- Side Lunge (10 each side)
With your hands on your waist, stand with feet and knees side by side. Take a big step with your right foot to the right side and bend the knee (lunge). Make sure your knee does not extend past your toes. Keep your left leg straight. Alternate sides until 10 reps are done for each.
- Jump Squats (10 reps)
Do this in a spacious area in your office, like a large break room or conference room. With your arms behind you, bend knees into a half squat, jump, and swing your arms up.
- Chair Dips (10 reps)
Grab the edge of a stable, heavy chair and put legs in front of you. Lift yourself up and back up. (Note: this is a very advanced move. Check with a trainer and learn proper safety procedures before attempting.)
- Walking (10 minutes)
Walk around your block or a floor of your office building for ten minutes. Try to maintain a pace of 100 steps per minute.
Before engaging in any exercise routine, consult with a physician.
These exercises can be suitable for many office workers of various ages and body types. Aside from moving your muscles and joints so that they don’t remain static for long periods, an exercise routine that works for you also reduces stress, enhances work productivity, and fosters a sense of well-being.
If you’re in need of treatment and therapies for injuries of any kind, get in touch with Oriole Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centre by calling (416) 221-0772. We offer pain reduction and mobility improvement for chronic conditions and help speed recovery.