Stress from work? Go out and be active!

Work….

Ah, yes..work. What about work? Working is good for us. Being able to do a job provides a sense of responsibility, learning opportunities and financial rewards.

However..

It can also place demands on our minds and bodies!

Some pressure at work is normal and isn’t always negative, it helps to motivate us and stimulates us but too much pressure can create stress and if this stress exposure is prolonged then it can cause mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression and lead to pain and tension headaches.

Only mental health, there’s more!

Too much time spent sitting at a desk or doing repetitive tasks can contribute to the development of back, neck and arm pain and other health problems. Try to break up your day so that you rotate your time spent doing other tasks. You need to keep moving and stretching regularly to release tension and give your mind a break

Go out and do your exercise!

Exercise can do more than just help manage body weight and prevent disease. By being physically active promotes mental wellbeing and reduces  stress.

How does this work?

It causes your body to release chemicals, which help to improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed

It focuses your attention away from issues that make you feel stressed as you are focused on what your body needs to do

It helps you release pent-up stress and tension, which makes you more resilient to pressure

What can I do?

Almost any form of physical activity can provide relief from tension or stress. The smallest steps can go a long way to improving your mental wellbeing, while also helping you look and feel better physically.

Create yourself reasons to be active:

Get off the bus or train one stop earlier and walk the final part of your journey. If you drive, park further away and walk the rest of the way

Cycling is great for fitness and a good stress reliever not to mention that it can also save you money

At train stations and car parks, take the stairs instead of lifts or escalators.

Sounds nice, but how much should I do?

It is recommended that you are active every day, you should undertake at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours in total) of moderate to vigorous exercise each week. This means increasing your heart rate, but not being so short of breath that you can’t talk.

But I haven’t got time!

Start with small numbers. It’s OK to be active in 10 minute if you don’t have time for structured exercise sessions as it doesn’t have to be done all in one go. In fact little and often is actually better!

Simple ways to become active:

Always move around by alternate sending emails with going to speak to people

Wear a lightweight headset and stand up to make some of your phone calls. Don’t wedge the phone between your head and shoulder

Take all your breaks and get away from your workstation.

Go for walks at lunchtime, or sign up for a class like yoga, aerobics or Pilates

Don’t skip meals and do drink water regularly as one of the biggest cause of headaches is dehydration!

Simple stretches while on desk…

Sit to the front of your chair, rotate your upper body to the right, holding on to the backrest of your seat with your left hand. Hold for 20 seconds, then swap sides.

Hold your hands together loosely behind your neck and stretch your elbows back so you can feel the pull on your shoulder blades. Don’t press your hands into your neck. Hold for 20 seconds.

Lace your fingers together and push your palms away from your body for 20 seconds.

Tired of being alone? Ask for help!

Alert your employers early about any pressures you think are affecting your health. With their support, you might be able to address problems before they have a chance to build up.

Employers:

Good employers are keen to help their workforce stay healthy. It’s in everyone’s best interest to keep staff happy, motivated and productive. Do what you can to promote good physical and mental health in your workplace by providing a supportive environment and ideas for activities in and around your location. Much of this can be achieved for little or no cost and can bring real benefits in terms of reduced absence. Best of all this will actually save your business money!

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Afiq Muhammad

Afiq Muhammad

Physiotherapist at Physio Savvy
Afiq Graduated with BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy from MARA University of Technology. His past work experience involves varied cases in various fields, making his patient care hollistic and patient based. He is most interested and experienced in the fields of musculoskeletal conditions and sporting injuries.
Afiq Muhammad

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Posted in Musculoskeletal Disorders.