It's Time To Take A Stand!
The following exercises and content was created exclusively for iHealthSphere, by our friends at Engage Health. Read on to discover the importance of continuously moving during your work day and download our handy exercise worksheet to help you on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
The Risks of Prolonged Sitting
You may have heard the latest health warning 'sitting is the new smoking'. Alarmingly, studies have found that sitting for eleven hours or more each day increases the risk of early death by forty percent.
Research also tells us that prolonged sitting is associated with an elevated risk of chronic disease including:
Even if we are physically active for 30 minutes a day, the time spent sitting remains of great concern. This is particularly important for those spending more than 20 hours a week sitting in a chair.
- Type II diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
What The Statistics Show
An increasing number of Australians are experiencing disabling low back pain, neck pain and headaches, limiting their ability to work and engage in an active lifestyle. The Australian Government's Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that:
Sedentary lifestyle and poor posture are reported to be the blame for these alarming statistics by the Department of Health.
- 70-90% of Australians will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives
- 10% will experience significant disability as a result of lower back pain
- 70% of Australian adults (i.e. almost 12 million adults) are either sedentary or have insufficient levels of physical activity
The Benefits of Standing
Our bodies are designed to move and the healthy body can only tolerate staying in one position for about twenty minutes. Holding the same position slowly diminishes elasticity in the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendons in the back).
Weak, shortened muscles are commonly found at the root of back and neck pain and also headaches. Standing helps to:
Getting enough sleep, regular exercise and taking steps to reduce and manage stress can also help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and pain.
- Enhance blood flow and circulation
- Wakes up the brain
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Helps activate the hormones responsible for fat burning
Aim to change your position every twenty minutes and take a regular stretching break every hour.
8 Easy Ways To Keep Moving At Work
8 Essential Stretches for a Healthier Lifestyle
The following stretches have been structured to increase flexibility, reduce pain and muscle tightness and improve blood flow.
We've created a handy downloadable exercise sheet below to help you perform these simple stretches as many times as possible throughout the day. Print the portable guide to share with work colleagues, relatives or to use at home whilst sitting.
Tools To Help You Exercise At WorkNow that you have your stretching exercise sheet, incorporate these with some of our exercise and rehab products to help limit muscle soreness and tightness, increase flexibility and strengthen muscles. Easy to store and transport around the office. These include:
For more information about foam rollers, view the Complete Guide To Foam Rolling, which contains a downloadable worksheet outlining a series of exercises to ensure you experience the full benefits of your foam roller.
About Engage Health
Engage Health is a leading provider of occupational health and injury prevention programs. They specialise in reducing the incidence and severity of soft tissue and mental health injuries through functional and sustainable injury prevention programs.Their Mindfulness-based programs effectively reduce stress within the corporate environment and improve performance within the sporting and athletic arena. Sally Cumming is the director of Engage Health. She is an ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Mindfulness Educator with a passion for creating healthier, safer and more productive workplaces.
These foam roller exercises will help to limit soreness and tightness by increasing blood flow and flexibility.