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Winter and your Workplace Wellness!

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15/50/15 | Posted by Administrator

The cold and wet weather has arrived in Melbourne, you find yourself reaching for those muffins from the coffee truck, you eat lunch in your chair because it is too cold to go out in your lunchbreak and your calorie tracker is going into overdrive from all of the comfort food and lack of exercise…sounding familiar?

As we spend longer hours in our office chairs and the days are short, it is a good time to do a workplace well being check to ensure that you stay fit and healthy during the winter.

Here are our top tips to help you stay on track in your workplace during winter:

1. Move those muscles

Image result for 10000 stepsTake mini breaks from your desk – twice an hour is recommended by health professionals. Have ‘walking’ meetings, walk to see a colleague instead of emailing, stand up to take a call.

Invest in a pedometer or fitness band and aim for 10,000 steps per day (recommended by the National Heart Foundation of Australia) so not only will your muscles love you, so will your heart and those scales.


2. Sit tall…don’t slouch
The human body was not designed to sit at a desk and work at a computer. Therefore, it can be quite common for people to suffer from neck and back complaints and bad posture. Check your chair to make sure you are sitting tall.

  • Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.
  • Adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to or slightly lower than, your hips.
  • Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle. 
  • Make sure your upper and lower back are supported. Use inflatable cushions or small pillows if necessary.
  • Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed. If your armrests are in the way, remove them.

3. Stand up and stretch  

If you have been sitting for long periods of time, you may feel stiffness in your back, aching in your neck or tightness in your shoulders. Take 5 minutes to do some ‘deskercise’! Follow these easy stretches and relieve tension, increase your energy levels, circulation and posture and show your colleagues how good your moves are!


4. Check your chin

Sitting tall, imagine you are suspended by a piece of string from the crown of your head. Keeping your eyes level with the horizon, tuck your chin in to make a double chin (not our best look I admit!) and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

5. Do a desk audit

  • Set your PC monitor screen at arms length and at a height where the top of the screen is at eye level
  • Your keyboard and mouse should be positioned close to the edge of the desk to allow elbows to be close to the body. Check the position of these objects throughout the day as they may have moved further away
  • Use a copy holder so that any input data is within your field of view.
  • If you are a phone cradler (as in you use your neck to hold the phone on your shoulder), you will be doing causing immense tension and strain in your muscles. Be kind to yourself and invest in a headset. It equates to the joy of eating a donut!

6. Eye your iPad, laptop or notebook

iPads, laptops and notebooks were designed only for short term or mobile use however this has meant that people often use them at an unsuitable work height. As the screen and keyboard are hard to adjust you may have to hold your arms too high or bend your neck to see the screen. This may result in discomfort over a long period. There are several ways to address these problems:

  • Pop your iPad into a cover with a stand
  • Dock the laptop or into a desktop computer at a suitable workstation.
  • Connect the laptop to stand-alone equipment such as a separate screen, keyboard and mouse.
  • Transfer information onto a desktop computer if working for long periods.
  • When using any portable screens be aware of your posture and break up keying with other activities.

There a number of organisations that can assist you to create a healthy on the links below for some interesting reading.