For the last topic in our workplace wellness series, today’s post will highlight the added benefit of sitting on an exercise ball throughout your workday. If you missed the last two posts featuring tips to staying healthy at work and tips on how to help minimize jaw clenching and relieve tension headaches, you can check them out here:
Sitting with good posture is important to help reduce both muscle imbalances and added strain on your body such as your trunk, neck and shoulders, for example. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of your posture while sitting throughout your workday, and to remember to take frequent breaks to stand up and walk around. In our PT Minute series, Dr. Maureen Ambrose, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT highlights the benefits of sitting on an exercise ball and offers her own tips on how to safely incorporate sitting on one throughout your workday:
In summary, Dr. Ambrose encourages you to keep these tips in mind, if you are considering using an exercise ball as a chair:
- Choose an exercise ball that is the right size for you based on your height.
- Ensure a proper set up by sitting on the ball with a 90-degree angle between your trunk, legs, and knees.
- If you are not used to sitting on an exercise ball, ease into sitting on one by starting with an hour at a time, for example. This will help to slowly build up your tolerance.
- Adjust your workstation downward (i.e. your desk and keyboard) to ensure you’re in a safe ergonomic position.
A nutrition tip to keep you healthy in the workplace is to make sure to start your day with a nourishing breakfast. If you find yourself crunched for time in the morning, prepare your breakfast the night before, when you make your lunch for the next day. This will help eliminate the temptation to skip breakfast altogether or grab something unhealthy for convenience. A balanced, nutrient-filled breakfast, which may include an adequate amount of lean protein, low-fat dairy, fiber, and whole grains, will help keep you feeling full and energized until your next meal. An example of an easy, yet nutritious breakfast packed with vitamins and minerals is whole grain oats cooked in low-fat milk topped with nut butter or nuts (i.e. almonds or walnuts) and fruit such as bananas, apples, or berries. A dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract can enhance the flavor of your oatmeal as well!
Remember to keep the above tips in mind. Our physical therapists can work with you to create a proper workplace setup to help prevent or reduce ergonomic related pain. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our physical therapists, give our office a call today at 855-PT-FIRST!
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). (n.d.) Workplace wellness. Retrieved from: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/workplace-wellness
APTA. (2012). Physical therapist’s guide to carpal tunnel syndrome. Retrieved from: http://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditionsDetail.aspx?cid=9f3cdf74-3f6f-40ca-b641-d559302a08fc
United States Department of Agriculture. (2016). MyPlateMyWins. Retrieved from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/sites/default/files/misc/dietaryguidelines/MyPlateMyWins.pdf
*As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your health, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.