Office jobs put a strain on the body; we lean over to stare at a computer screen or sit for hours at a desk that probably isn't positioned at the right height. As New Yorkers, we love efficiency and productivity and according to research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), employees who exercise at least thirty minutes, three times per week were 15% more likely to see higher job performance. That's putting you on the route to a raise and a high five from your boss!
At Local Roots, we think wellness is more than what you put in your body, it’s also what you do with your body. We've have partnered with our friend Justin Troy, Muay Thai fighter and trainer, to learn some simple habits to incorporate into the work day to ensure our desk job doesn’t negatively affect our physical health and actually helps us feel good even sitting at a desk.
Healthy habits set the foundation. The best habit is to have some type of active routine or lifestyle outside of the work place. Active employees are not only more productive, but also absent 27% fewer times and less likely to get injured in the workplace. If a person is already strong and mobile, then they are less likely to be injured during physical exertion. At the end of the day, Justin supports that a person with solid sleep, hydration, and good eating habits is more likely to stay alert and focused throughout the day, and is less likely to hurt themselves through physical activity. Seven to nine hours of sleep on a consistent schedule is recommended. One of the most common injuries in the workplace is to the lower back. We can combat this by working on strength, mobility, and agility.
Strength: Calisthenics like push ups and sit ups and compound lifts/exercises
Mobility: Dynamic movement and static stretching
Agility: Coordinated reaction developed through sports
Can't find the time to work out as much as you'd like? We hear that! We live busy lives in New York City and there's always that temptation of Netflix... However, there are ways to create healthy movement habits on a micro scale even while at work. Learn how to root the feet evenly into the floor, create a healthy tension in the core while having freely independently moving limbs, and develop body awareness. Here are 3 tips to get tiny but mighty fitness exercises into your work day:
1. Loose hips = working hips. Do hip circles to loosen up the hips prior to work, and during breaks (i.e. while photo copying or waiting for your coffee to brew).
2. Learn to hinge. Hinging develops balance and makes it easier to keep tension in the core and not round the spine. Try hinging when you're hanging out at the water cooler talking about the weather.
3. Correct your desk seating. People who have sitting desks should adjust their chairs so that their feet are flat to the floor (and not hanging). This helps to remind people to keep their feet flat and rooted. If your desk or chair can't be adjusted, try placing books on the floor to ensure your feet are flat. Your key board should also be at elbow level to prevent anterior rotation of the shoulder and the computer screen should be eye level to prevent ‘text neck’.
4. Mind and Body. Wellness is holistic. In addition to working on your physical fitness, it is important to focus on your mindfulness. You can do so by ensuring that you are prioritizing your body’s needs and being conscious of your movements. Listen to you body! A healthy body, lifestyle, and mind will enable you to feel like a champion fighter even when you're photocopying!
Contributed by Local Roots NYers Drew Carlin
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