Improve Your Workday with These Simple Everyday Practices

By Prachi Karande, PT, DPT

Over the last two years, the pandemic has changed the way we work, forcing us to adapt our homes into spaces we not only live in, but also work in.  Therefore naturally, we have spent more time sitting at our desks. Studies show that prolonged sitting can have a negative impact on our musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, memory, and overall metabolic systems, which play a vital role in the quality of our movement. Additionally, preliminary studies show promising results for improved ability to pay attention and think clearly following more frequent work breaks and light-moderate level of exercise intensity. Below are tips to improve your work set up and stretches you can do at your desk/office to break up your day: 

  1. Take frequent breaks- schedule time to get up and move for 10 min (walking, exercises, stretching)
  2. No prolonged position is recommended to maintain for long periods of time- prolonged standing can be just as aggravating
  3. Check your ergonomic set up 

Five stretches/exercises you can do at your desk to improve posture:

  1. Thoracic extension- perform 30x
  2. Pec stretch- perform for 30 seconds on each side (2 times)
  3. Upper Trap stretch- perform for 30 seconds on each side (2 times)
  4. Chin tucks- perform 20x, hold tuck for 2-3 seconds
  5. Scapular squeezes- perform 2 sets of 15