Most of us spend a good portion of the work day in a seated position. Driving our cars, sitting at our desks; we don’t move much. I am always amazed at how tiring sitting at my desk for long periods of time can really be. Maybe you feel stressed and fatigued at the end of the work day, or a little stiff and sore?
I recently had a discussion about just this subject with a good friend of mine. C.J. offered some great tips from her chiropractor in New York, Dr. Jim Kotorac. She was kind enough to give me permission to share them here on my blog. Here are some simple suggestions that Dr. Kotorac gives to everyone who has a desk job.
- This first tip doesn’t require any special equipment other than a clock or a timer. Dr. Kotorac says that one of the best ways to prevent alignment problems, physical discomfort, and fatigue is to stop every hour and stand up. You can do stretching or other exercises if you like but those are less important than the simple act of standing up. C.J. tries to do this every hour on the hour, and it makes a big difference in getting projects finished and meeting deadlines. When she’s in a hurry, the interruption lasts only 5 seconds or so. When there’s time, she steps away from her desk and bounces on a rebounder, does yoga or calesthenics, breathes deeply (my favorite), or does some of Donna Eden’s energy exercises, demonstrated on YouTube and detailed on Donna’s website. It’s so important for everyone – not just coaches – to maintain balanced energy, and these are simple methods for doing so.
- Sit on a DynaDisc Balance Disc Cushion, which C.J. got at Dr. Kotorac’s recommendation, or something similar. C.J. used to need regular sacroiliac adjustments, but no longer. The DynaDisc took a day to get used to because it requires frequent posture adjustments, but in no time the adjustments became both easy and unconscious. At some point, she wants to get a wobble board or balance cushion for standing exercise as well, but for now (that is for the past 9 years) the DynaDisc has given her sitting bones a perfect workout requiring zero effort on her part.
- Look outside the box (in this case outside the office supply store) for equipment that can make your office more comfortable and organized. Years ago, C.J. bought organizing supplies and her first ergonomic chair from a sewing supply website. I myself have a bungee cord chair which provides a surprising amount of support. Think about improving the illumination in your office with lamps; for color clarity, try a fixture that produces a more natural light than regular bulbs.
- Preventing dehydration is as easy as keeping water on hand but it can be just that easy to forget. C.J. keeps a “water” sticky note next to her computer to remind her to put water where she can reach it before she sits down to work. I have a crock of delightful spring water just outside of my office door; it encourages me to get up on my feet every so often to refill my glass periodically.
So, there you have it. Here in my office, I stand up when I can (at least between clients and often during times when I’m teaching them helpful information), use an ergonomic chair, use bulbs that simulate natural light, and always try to drink plenty of water . There are only two things that I would add to the list above. Breathe deeply and fully, first of all. And, remember to look away from your computer monitor every so often to help prevent eye strain.
I would love to know what tips everyone else has to offer on maintaining balance and energy throughout the work day! Please leave a comment below to share your tips, comments, or provide suggestions on what information you’d like to see in future blog posts.
Best to you,