A recent report from the Daily Mirror has revealed the potential long-term impacts of modern workstations on our bodies. Scientists have demonstrated what office workers may look like in 20 years’ time, due to hours spent hunched over their desks, through the use of of a life-sized model, ‘Emma’ – her features include a permanently bent back, swollen limbs, varicose veins, bloodshot eyes and pallid skin – all of which may be long-term risks to the everyday office worker.
And the modern workstation doesn’t only pose a threat to our health in the long-run – many office workers also report already suffering from work-related health issues in the short-term:
- 90% of office workers in the UK suffer from health issues because of their jobs and therefore perform badly at work
- 49% suffer from bad backs
- 45% suffer from stiff necks
- 30% suffer from sore wrists with 23% suffering from stiff legs and a sore bum
- 7 out of 10 workers reported turning to medications to combat these problems
In response to these findings, Pilates teacher, functional movement expert and founder of Pilates at your Desk, Kerrie-Anne Bradley gives her top 5 tips on how to improve your health in the short-term and avoid any potential health issues in the long-term…
1. Move more
Try and move or change position every 30 minutes during the day. Even getting up and shaking everything out for a couple of minutes will help!
2. Sit Well
When sitting, position your feet flat on the floor, make sure you are sitting up straight on your ‘sit bones’, with ribs directly positioned over the hips, shoulders wide and down, and neck in line with the spine. Try shoulder rolls, squeeze your sit bones together and release, interlock your hands behind your head and press your head into your hands to feel those upper back muscles working.
3. Breath better
Take deep breaths into the front, back and sides of your ribs. This is great for calming the nervous system and getting movement in the middle bit of your back. It also relaxes your shoulders and rib cage and improves your posture and ultimately how you feel.
4. Power Pose
Stretch your arms apart above your head and have your legs apart so you look like a star. Stretch everything away.
5. Move Together!
Schedule team movement opportunities, hold walking meetings, hold an in-office squat challenge, have signs around the office encouraging movement, take the stairs.
For more tips and advice, visit pilateswithka.com.