Is Your Job Ruining Your Workout?

Work Workout We all know we need to work on our fitness, but unfortunately, sometimes our work interferes with that goal. Sometimes, we're too tired. We don't have the time. We don't have the energy to do our exercises. There are things that you can do at the workplace, to try to keep yourself in shape. Number one, we must all work on our posture. Often times, you will see people sit at their desk, kind of slouched forward, leaning their neck forward. This actually causes undo stress on the spine, and we need to very cognizant of how we sit, and how we look at our computers, and how we interact with our desk, while we're working. Number two, there are things we can do to increase our activities. Maybe you will take the stairs. Maybe you will walk to the place where you go eat. Maybe you'll do a small walk around the workplace, every 20 minutes, 30 minutes. One to refresh your mind, but two to keep your muscles moving. The final thing we need to work on, is having a plan to stay fit. So, please take time in your day to keep yourself in good shape. It is an effort that we all must do to keep ourselves strong, safe, and in the long run, happy.

We all know what we have to do. We spend so much of our time at our desks, on the computer, or in front of the television, our muscles can become weak and our bones, osteoporotic. We have to be more active but unfortunately our desk jobs are actually following us into the gym.

Let’s talk….

If you are reading this article on a computer right now, you are most likely leaning forward with your elbows on the desk using what is considered poor posture. Unfortunately if you use this poor posture at work, there is a very good chance you are using it at the gym. If you sit with rounded shoulders, your neck follows your upper back so you then have to arch your neck to look at the screen. If you then go to the gym and do an exercise where you have to lie down, (like a bench press) your back will not flatten on the bench. This puts all the stress of the lift on your low back and neck.

We have to prevent gym injuries by starting at the office. Use an ergonomic chair or, even better, a stand up desk. Move your computer screen so you are not straining to see it (your eyes or your neck). Stop, move around, stretch, and when you get a chance, sit against a wall. Flatten your lower back into the wall, by tilting your pelvis under you. Straighten your arms in front of you, and try to raise arms up to your ears, without letting a gap form behind your lower back. Do this several times a day and it will have you sitting in your chair the way you are supposed to.

When you get to the gym, check your positioning for every exercise. Make sure your back is flat when it needs to be. Strengthen your mid and upper back by doing reverse shrugs. Sit at the Lat Pulldown, grab the bar and do straight arm pull downs using just the shoulder blades. Go slightly in front of you 3-4 inches.  This strengthens your lower traps and improves your posture.

The best thing you can do is hire a reputable certified personal trainer, who will take your health into consideration, when you start a new exercise or training regimen. Having someone literally watching your back the first few times will create good habits and good posture. Don’t overdo it, either with weight or reps, at the start. If you are tired, you lose form and are more likely to get hurt.

Walking or swimming are great exercises, but a weight training regimen a couple of times a week will improve posture, slow down osteoporosis and make you look and feel better. Give it a try. And ladies, about the picture this week, you’re welcome.

Citations

  • Shariat A, Mohd Tamrin SB, Arumugam M, Danaee M, Ramasamy R. Office Exercise Training to Reduce and Prevent the Occurrence of Musculoskeletal Disorders among Office Workers: A Hypothesis. Malays J Med Sci. 2016 Jul;23(4):54-8. PubMed PMID: 27660545

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