It’s time to move! How often do you notice you get stuck at the computer working away and before you know it hours have past and you haven’t moved? More and more people are living in Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Armstrong Creek, & Warralily and now working remotely from home.
An increase in sedentary behavior is a worrying trend amongst the Bellarine Peninsula community currently. Many of us are now spending a greater amount of time sitting and moving less, exposing us to a number of health risks. Let’s change that today!
We all know how beneficial exercise is for us. Improving our heart and lung health, reduces risks of developing many conditions but also has great effect on mood and our mental health! In the clinic we are seeing an ever-increase number of patients complaining of hip pain, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches all directly related to prolonged sedentary work postures.
Australian adults are encouraged to achieve 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week. Which doesn’t sound like a lot but most Australian adults do not meet this target!
Let’s see if we can change that today and get you moving more!
Taking regular breaks during the day are key especially while working from home. Every 30 minutes of work should be broken up with some sort of movement. Whether it is to get a coffee, go to the toilet or go for a short walk outside, get up and move as much as you can. And with the beautiful beaches in Ocean Grove and the Bluff in Barwon Heads, there really is no shortage of places for a quick stroll in your lunch break.
Having regular movement breaks improves concentration and reduces the risk of developing musculoskeletal aches and pains. Every hour schedule a bigger movement break that can consist of some simples stretches/ exercises to keep your body moving.
Let’s run through my top five simple movements that will help with strength, mobility and leaving you feel amazing! They can be done anywhere and are easy to do as a break from work.
Time to stand up and get moving!
Calf raises – lets wake up those legs first. Sitting for long periods, our leg muscles get lazy. Calf raises are a simple exercise to build strength in the legs and get the heart rate up.
How to perform them: stand up place your hands on a wall or on the back of a chair for support. Lift your heels up and down off the floor- hold at the top for 2 seconds. Let’s aim for 20 repetitions
Squats – squats are a fantastic exercise to build strength in the legs and get the blood pumping.
How to do it: start with your feet shoulder width apart with hands in front of you for balance. Now try and imagine you are taking a seat on a chair. Sink your hips back and bend through your knees. Lower yourself down aiming to get your thighs parallel to the ground (or a comfortable range for you). Then stand back up tall keeping your eyes and chest facing forward. Let’s aim for 10 in a row. Squats are great for strengthening the quads and gluts and this is especially important for people who suffer from back pain or sciatica.
Shoulder rolls – time to get those shoulders moving. Often, we get stuck with our shoulders slumped forward while working at a desk. Shoulder rolls are a great exercise to help with that posture and loosen up those shoulders if you are experiencing shoulder pain.
How to do it: Standing up tall, place your hands on your shoulders. In a circular motion roll your shoulders backwards. Try this one for 15 repetitions.
Chin tucks – after spending hours at the computer our neck can get tired, sore and sometimes lead to headaches. Chin tucks help strengthen the muscles of the neck which can help with your posture and help alleviate neck tension and headaches.
How to perform: Stand up tall or stand up against the wall. Place a finger on your chin and draw your chin backwards. Imagine giving yourself a double chin. Hold the position for 2 seconds then slowly control and return to the starting position. Perform this 10 times.
Neck stretch – Do you get neck pain or headaches? Is your neck feeling tight and sore? This stretch is an easy way help loosen up tight muscles through the back of the neck.
How to do it: stand up tall, place your right hand on top of your head. Bring your chin down to your chest then turn your head to the right. You should feel a stretch through the left side of the neck. Hold this for 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Perform this 3 times each side.
Well done! How easy was that? Now these five exercises are very simple and can easily be performed every hour as a movement break during the day. If you struggle to remember to take regular breaks, set a timer on your phone or write a sticky note. No excuses to get moving! The more movement the better, trust me your body will thank you!
If you want any further advice or just want to know if these exercise are appropriate for you, please feel free to give Phil a call at the clinic on 5254 2668 or book online by clicking the link below.
Yours in good health,
Phil Nash and the team at 13th Beach Health Services