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Poor posture, not enough breaks and sedentary office behaviour can all have serious implications in the long-term. Chronic neck and back pain, stiffness and general discomfort are common complaints in offices the world over, and can often be avoided with regular, non-strenuous exercises.
This week’s Stuff to Watch focuses on a variety of techniques that can reduced the chances of an office-related injury, a phenomenon that costs employers dearly each year. Of course it’s not just your employer’s coffers that take a hit – your mood, energy and quality of life can be badly affected too.
Sedentary Office Exercises – A Timed Routine
Taking a no-frills approach, this silent instructional guides you through just over 7 minutes of basic stretches that are perfect for office workers or anyone who spends extended periods of time at a desk.
There are 12 types of stretches in total, starting with the hands and arms and gradually working up to neck and back. The video tells you what to do, how long to do it and when to move on to the next stage. This video is particularly good because unlike many “office workout” videos found online, these can all be done without acres of space or extra equipment.
Tips For Better Posture by Vodafone
Telecommunications and ergonomics converge in these rather splendid videos from none other than Vodafone. Purely visual with the odd sound effect and some music, both videos identify common mistakes often made whilst using modern technology.
Sure, there are a few Vodafone logos here and there and the whole thing is presented on an animated tablet, but the advice and observations are valid and will help prevent injury, especially if you regularly use your laptop on the go.
Exercise Routines For Office Workers – eHow.com
If you’re keen on taking your office workout to the next level (i.e. not just preventing injury but improving your fitness whilst browsing Craigslist) then eHow has a few tips in this video. Using two additional bits of equipment – a stability ball and exercise tubing – the host explains the various techniques and benefits to doing so.
This might not necessarily be ideal for your day job but should work in most home offices and provides a way to improve your fitness whilst remaining productive. Of course, there’s plenty of other uses for the stability ball and exercise tubing should you acquire them!
Health and Safety Authority – Office Ergonomics
In Britain the words “health and safety” are often followed by expletives and general disdain, but this particular video produced by the UK’s own Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is quite enlightening.
It lays down exactly what to expect from employers (in the UK at least) and identifies common bad practices we could all do with avoiding. In particular this video demonstrates to bloggers, freelance writers and anyone else who works from home how to establish a better working environment.
It also might give you an idea what’s wrong if you think your current set-up is causing discomfort or worse.
5 Exercises To Fix A Hunchback Posture
Are you already beginning to succumb to bad posture? In addition to visiting your physician, chiropractor or sports therapist there are a couple of pro-active exercises you can do in your own time, as shown here.
These stretches are designed to relieve tension in the chest whilst strengthening upper back muscles. Some extra equipment may be necessary but it’s relatively inexpensive and probably worth it in the long-run, should your posture improve.
Remember that a trained medical professional will always provide better advice than YouTube or any other online resource. Of course, that’s not to say these videos aren’t rich in useful information that we could all probably benefit from.
If you have any favourite resources for preventing office-related injuries or exercises that have helped you personally then please share in the comments below, you never know how helpful they might be!