Eliminate Work-Related Injuries!

JYM_GIRL_BLOG_squats pre-setI know a lot of you reading this have office desk jobs, so I wanted to offer some tips to make your workplace a healthier environment. While I was working as a graduate assistant at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, I sat at a desk quite frequently – and I HATED it! Here, I’m going to share some tips I incorporated into my daily routine to make that job a little less stagnant and a lot less painful.

Office Fit Tip #1: Move More Throughout the Day
You all know Jim’s 30/60 rule: For every 30 minutes you’re sitting, get up and do some sort of activity for 60 seconds. Time gets away from us quite frequently due to busy work days and schedules. I suggest setting a timer on your phone for the next 30-minute mark. I guarantee if you incorporate this rule into your everyday routine you will feel less grumpy and stiff. However, if you get caught in a meeting and you have to sit for an hour or more, don’t stress out about it. What I used to do was instead of doing 60 seconds of activity, I did 120 seconds!

Office Fit Tip #2: Save Your Neck by Adjusting Your Computer
A lot of people with desk jobs complain of neck pain. A friend I trust a lot on fitness matters once told me to adjust my computer so that the top of the screen is in direct line with my eyes. This will help keep your thoracic spine in a neutral position, as opposed to looking up or down and applying constant strain on your neck.

Office Fit Tip #3: Try a Standing Desk
If your office will provide a standing desk for you, I highly suggest you try it. A standing desk will keep you more mobile throughout the day and will take some strain off your lower back and neck. This can also help to keep your hips more mobile. Think about it: When you sit all day long, your hips are in constant flexion so they’re bound to get tight after a day of sitting. This will not only help your mobility, but will help your gains in the gym!

Office Fit Tip #4: Get a Stress Ball
It may sound weird, but squeezing a stress ball or stress beads is a great way to decompress a little during a tough work day. All you’re doing is letting a little aggression out (kind of like you do in the gym J ).  Squeezing a stress ball keeps blood flow and circulation to your muscles throughout the day, which can actually help prevent carpel-tunnel syndrome. You can also use Hand X Bands, as recommended by Jim. Both are great tools!

Office Fit Tip #5: Give Your Brain a Break
Go outside on your lunch break. Read a book. Do whatever you need to to take a break. I’ve found that if I concentrate on one thing for many hours at a time, I’m really doing more harm than good to my thinking process. I need a break so that I can come back to the issue at hand to tackle it with a fresh mindset, even if my break is only 15-20 minutes. This has always helped me with my studies in school as well. Going for a walk outside is one of the best ways to clear your mind. Not to mention, you get a little vitamin D from the sun!

Remember, being healthy doesn’t just mean eating right and working out. Living a healthy life means fitness is incorporated into everything you do – including your work life. Even tiny changes like these can make a huge difference!

Meet JYM Girl Katie Kollath, MS