Exercising at work has numerous benefits including reducing stress and improving your health. Suggested exercises while at work often involve getting up from you desk. For example, it is suggested that employees walk to another employee to engage in conversation instead of staying at their desk and sending an email. Another common suggestion is to get up every hour and walk around the office area taking stairs if they are available.
While these are great ideas they may not be as helpful to people in fields where they can not just get up from their desks whenever they desire. Employees, such as 911 dispatchers and public safety professionals, need tips that allow them to exercise without leaving their workstation. Not only is it important for these employees to have the opportunity to improve their health but their high stress jobs make identifying options for stress relief while at work imperative.
Stretching is Valuable
Stretching is often overlooked but can be very helpful in improving health. Stretching has been known to diminish back pain, help circulation, improve range of motion and flexibility and relieve stress. Some simple stretches that can be accomplished while continuing to work are:
- Neck stretch - Touch your ear to one shoulder and hold it there then switch to the other side.
- Shoulder shrug - Lift your shoulders up to your ears and hold for a few seconds, then release.
- Chest opener - Stretch your arms back as if you were trying to hold a small object between your shoulder blades.
- Supported back extensions - Place your hand on your hips and stretch your back by bending backward.
- Executive Stretch - While sitting in your chair, put your hands behind your head, interlock your fingers and move your elbows toward each other. Lean back and breathe in holding for 20 seconds. Exhale and repeat.
- Wrist Stretches - Hold your arm out straight and point your fingers to the ceiling with your palm facing away from you. Take your other hand and pull your fingers until you can feel it pulling on the underside of your forearm. Repeat with the other hand. Now start with your fingers facing downward and repeat. Finally rotate your wrists clockwise and counterclockwise.
There are many known benefits of strength training including reducing symptoms of arthritis, diabetes and osteoperosis. Building strength is a way to reduce obesity as muscle burns more calories than fat.
- Arm and core strength - Sit in your chair and cross your legs with your feet under the chair. Simultaneously place your hands on the armrests, pull in your stomach and pull yourself up a few inches above your seat. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, rest and repeat.
- Lower-body strength - Sit in your chair with one leg extended straight out in front of you. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then raise the leg up as high as you can and hold for another 2 seconds. Repeat 15 times with each leg.
For employees in fields where they are not able to leave their workstation whenever they please it can be difficult to exercise and relieve stress during the workday. If you are a 911 Dispatcher or Public Safety Professional try these simple stretches and strength building exercises and start improving your health and reduce your stress today.