Keeping your body healthy in the office

If you work in an office setting, you may find yourself with tension, stiffness, and muscle aches. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can have negative impacts on your body. However, there are several easy tips you can implement in your daily routine to prevent these issues.

Have your mouse and keyboard within close reach, and your chair fully supporting your back. Thighs should be horizontal, and feet firmly planted on the floor. If needed, place a small stool under your feet. The top one third of your computer screen should be at eye level, and if you have multiple screens, have them close together.

If you sit most of the day, stand and move for 5-15 minutes of every hour. If you have a standing desk, stand up for 2-4 hours of your workday. Standing in place can also lead to back and leg discomfort, so continue to take movement breaks once each hour.

Incorporate simple stretches into your day, holding for 20-30 seconds each:

  • Back extension: Reach your arms overhead, arch backwards, and look up at the ceiling.
  • Side-bend: Place one arm on your thigh or the armrest of your chair, keep both feet planted on the ground, and reach overhead to the opposite side.
  • Hamstring: Sit at the edge of your chair and extend one leg forward with your knee straight. Hinge forward at the waist, keeping your back straight until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg.
  • Upper trap: Sit or stand up straight, then bring one ear toward the same shoulder. Keep your eyes and nose forward. Repeat on the other side.
  • Shoulder blades: Sit tall and squeeze your shoulder blades together and down.