For Kinesiology Week, I was inspired to put together a few tips to help you incorporate more movement into your day. I’m a Rehabilitation Clinical Advisor on the Health Services team at WorkSafeNB, and we’re focused on making New Brunswick the safest place to work. - Andy West, M.Sc. (OT)
Working from home has many perks – for me it’s getting to spend more time with my Bernese Mountain Dog mix, Winnie! As you go about your work, be mindful that the human body is meant to MOVE. To improve your long-term health, incorporate movement into your day!
I’ve found that if I try and bite off more than I can chew regarding my daily physical activity, and I’m running low on time, I skip some of my daily movement goals.
What’s worked well? Over the last few months, I went back to the drawing board and set realistic goals. The kind of goals I can stick to, even when I’m busy or feeling low on motivation. This includes four to five exercises over my lunch break.
When you imagine “fitness” a big fancy gym may come to mind. But simple exercises like squats, lunges, stretches, and push-ups are amazing for your body and require zero equipment.
In pop culture, exercise is focused on what we want to “look” like, but what is truly important are the benefits of exercise on the long-term health of your body.
My first tip would be to always ensure that your vehicle is set up to optimize your ergonomics. This cannot be understated. Take the time to adjust your seat, your steering wheel, your mirrors, etc. to be as kind to your body as possible while in a static position for extended periods of time.
While you’re driving, be aware of your head and shoulder positioning. If you notice your head tends to lean forward and/or your shoulders start to round, activate the correct muscle groups to help re-position them.
My second tip would be to make an effort to get your blood flowing every time you make a stop. I would especially focus on areas of your body that aren’t being used while you’re driving. Examples would be stretching your arms over your head, stretching your back, doing a few lunges, etc.
I know your breaks are precious, so plan to move in a way that’s fun for you. Whether you’re someone who likes to follow dance tutorials on YouTube, throw a ball with your dog in the yard, or walk up and down the stairs a few times listening to music or a podcast, whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s an activity you find valuable and enjoyable!
Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a few days or a few weeks, the important thing is to be active in a way that works for YOU. Building habits takes time. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of improvement!
So there you have it, my top three tips to bring more movement, and more health into your day. What habit would you recommend for more movement during the workday?
Shout out to my alma maters Acadia and Dalhousie universities where I studied Kinesiology and Occupational Therapy. And to Winnie for being the best work-from-home buddy. Explore resources on workplace safety and health at worksafenb.ca. Free health and safety consulting services in New Brunswick.