People are the machines of the workplace. As with actual machines, our bodies work best when we participate in regular preventative maintenance to keep things working properly. Yet, research shows that 80% of people suffer from back pain.
Sitting is the new smoking. While smoke breaks have decreased in many workplaces, many employees have stopped taking breaks altogether keeping them sitting at their desks virtually all day. Sitting habits are ingrained in the workplace and when combined with slouching habits from texting, commuting, and couch time, the combination can cause chronic back-ache, pain, and tension. This can affect how people feel at work and could, ultimately, negatively impact productivity.
Employees who experience back pain and tension are likely to seek out the services of chiropractors and massage therapists for relief and, for good reason these services are covered by most insurance benefit plans. These treatments are much needed by any stressed out office staff who spends time on the computer. However, there are things that can be done by individuals to care for themselves in between visits.
3 Recommendations for Self Care for Muscle Tension
Take a Breath to Recharge
It is often said that people are able to move quicker when they slow down. Taking a breath throughout the work day could benefit your productivity by keeping you present in the moment. Many successful people practice mindful meditation. Taking 2 minutes a day to scan your body will help you identify the areas where you hold your stress. This could be as easy as leaving your desk to eat lunch and enjoying the taste and flavours of what you are eating.
Reduce Sedentary Behaviour
Allow your team the opportunity to take breaks from long periods of sitting. Determine which tasks can be done while standing and walking in order to avoid being seated all day. Rather than sitting around the boardroom, get outdoors for a walking meeting. Install a walking desk in the office, and create a schedule so that everyone can have a turn. Install sit-stand desks to allow people to continue working while they move between sitting and standing.
Encourage Stretch Breaks
The BeamTM offers a simple do-it yourself approach to preventing or easing back tension. The Corporate Beam Break program developed by Nimbleback encourages participants to take a stretch break with The BeamTM. Using The BeamTM to stretch and strengthen at work for 10 minutes a day will help any workplace achieve better posture, a stronger core and release muscle tension in the back.
About Christa Geddes
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Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.