Wellness in the workplace: simple “desk-ercises” for you and your employees

Has this ever happened to you at work?

Your muscles stiffen. Your jaw clenches.  Your back aches. You become too stressed to think.

When these things happen, don’t just sit there. Desk-ercise!

Studies show Americans are burning more than 100 fewer calories per day in the workplace than they did just a few decades ago. And we recently wrote about the health hazards of sitting, which include increased risks for obesity, Type II diabetes and death.

We all know we should get more exercise, but on some days there’s just not enough time to get to the gym or squeeze in a long walk or bike ride. But every day you and your employees can find several minutes to do simple exercises right at your desk.

So take the time to Take Five (desk-ercises recommended by experts, not coffee breaks) and you’ll feel better and work more productively, too!

  1. Raise the roof (20 reps). While marching in place, raise and lower your arms to the ceiling and back with your palms up and thumbs almost touching your shoulders. You can make this more challenging by holding water bottles.
  2. The hulk (20 reps). Keep marching and lean forward. With your elbows bent and fists together in front of your chest, move your arms back and forth like wings. Try to touch your shoulder blades together.
  3. Side lunge (10 per side). Stand up straight, and then take a big step sideways while bending this knee and keeping your other leg straight. Keep your toes pointing forward. Push back up to your starting position and repeat for the opposite leg. If you are wearing heels, you might want to take your shoes off for this one.
  4. Knee lifts (20 reps). Extend your arms in front of you with your elbows bent in front of you and your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Lift your knees to your waist as you lower your arms to your knees.

As we mentioned in our previous blog , experts also recommend taking mini-breaks to move around every hour, even it’s just for a minute or two. Stand up, walk around, do some stretching exercises. Remember, an energized workplace helps employees stay healthy!

About Ken Dallafior

Ken Dallafior is Senior Vice President, Group Business and Corporate Marketing at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). Dallafior leads BCBSM's group sales force, oversees corporate marketing and product development, and develops and implements key corporate strategies. He also provides leadership to critical sales operations such as agent relations and commissions, sales incentives and complex issue resolution for group customers and sales agents. In addition to working in the insurance industry for nearly two decades, Dallafior played professional football from 1982 to 1992. He is founder and board member of the Detroit Lions Courage House.
 
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