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Working Healthily: Exercises for Remote Workers.

Steps to Overcoming Teenage Anger

As we wrap up Global Employee Health and Fitness month, we want to highlight some important facts and exercises to keep you healthy while you work!

Did you know?

FACT: The average US adult sits 6.5 hours a day. For teens it’s even more. That is an increase of about an hour a day since 2007. That means you are sedentary for at least a quarter of your entire day.

Sitting or lying down for too long increases your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Sitting for an extended period can also be harmful for your mental health. Less circulation throughout your body can cause muscles to atrophy and joints to stiffen making YOU feel uncomfortable, achy and gain weight.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is not necessarily sitting that can be harmful, but the lack of movement caused by sitting too much.

So, can we combat excessive sitting?

The answer is YES.

To combat the effects of too much sitting, one study showed that intense physical activity 60-75 minutes a day can counter the effects of too much sitting. But should you just have one hour of killer cardio and then sit for the next 10? No.

If you have never worked out before, we suggest starting slow. Even if you have years of experience working out, we do not suggest the ratio of 1:8 in terms of intense exercise to sitting. Instead, we suggest:

  • Taking a break every hour and walking across the room. Speaking from experience, when I worked in an office, I took a break after every sales call and walked up and down a flight of stairs. The increased blood flow creates more oxygen to your whole body and brain, stimulating you to be more creative and effective at work.
  • Stand while talking on the phone or watching television after work
  • Walk with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room.
  • Use the stairs at work, at the store, at home, wherever you can.
  • Park farther away and walk a little bit more. Using a pedometer can help you visualize how much you are moving. ​

And try these movements to counter the effects of sitting:

Please consult a doctor or a healthcare provider prior to these movements. These movements are determined from a Certified Personal Trainer, not a healthcare physician. If you are at all worried about your health, please consult your doctor.

Is your back hurting?

You may have a weak core. The first step in strengthening your core is to engage your core. Try a pelvic tilt.

Try this at home, not at work:
  1. Lay back, flat on the floor with your knees up. Notice how there is a natural arch formed and your low back is not on the floor. Breathe normally.
  1. Slowly, without lifting your butt, angle your pelvis toward your nose so that back slowly touches the floor. You should feel your abdominal muscles starting to fire. Once you get the hang of the movement, breathe in prior to the movement and breathe out as you tilt your pelvis. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed. ​

Are your hips stiff?

You may want to stretch your hip flexors:
  1. Start with your right knee on the floor and your left foot on the floor (if your right knee hurts, you can put a pillow or towel under your knee). Make sure your right hip is directly over your right knee and your left knee is directly over your left ankle. Align your body so your hips are forward. If your hips had lights on them, make sure the lights are shining forward.
  2. Not, slowly step your left foot forward and push your hips forward. You should feel an amazing stretch in front of your right hip. If you need support, make sure you are doing this exercise by the wall. You can hold this position for 30 seconds or hold for ten, release, and then hold for ten again.
  3. Switch legs. You may find that once hip is tighter than the other.

Or you may want to strengthen your glutes.

Start, by laying on the floor, shoulders relaxed and breathe normally.

Bend your knees, keeping your shoulders relaxed.

To engage your core, do a pelvic tile throughout the entirety of the exercise.

  1. Keeping your shoulders relaxed, engage your core by doing a pelvic tilt (see exercise above)
  2. Keeping your shoulder relaxed AND your core engaged, slowly lift your pelvis so that your back is leaving the floor one vertebrae at a time. You should feel your hamstrings start to slowly engage. Push your feet flat on the floor as you lift your hips off the floor. Keep your breathing level. Do not let your shoulder blades off the floor. Once you reached your peak, hold for 3 seconds with your glutes engaged, and slowly roll your hips back down. Repeat 15 times.

*This is an incredible exercise and I strongly recommend you do this at least twice a day, once when you wake up and once before you go to bed (if you do not have any injuries or consulted a PT on an exercise program).

** For an added level of difficulty, once you have completed the glute bridge on both legs, complete the glute bridge with one leg at a time.

Cat/Cow stretch:

    • Position yourself with your hands flat on the floor and your knees flat on the floor. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders and your hips are over your knees.
    • Breathe in and slowly arch your back, sucking in your belly, pressing your hands, as if you are pushing someone away from you so that your shoulder blades open.
  • Breathe out, arch your back down, press the shoulder blades down, lift your head up. Repeat 10x.

Hand behind Head Quadruped:

  1. Position yourself with your hands flat on the floor and your knees flat on the floor. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders and your hips are over your knees. ​
  2. Place one hand behind your head. You are still looking down toward the floor. Breathe in.
  3. As you breathe out, slowly twist your body, lifting your elbow towards the ceiling.
  4. Breathe in and lower your elbow. Repeat 8-10x and switch sides.

Are you standing up from your chair correctly?

To correctly stand up from your chair, make sure you are NOT using your arms to push yourself UP from your chair. If you are, please refrain. You want to make sure you are utilizing your legs and not straining your neck and shoulders.

Before you get up, position your feet so they are flat on the ground. You can scoot your butt towards the end of your chair, for more ease but please make sure your knees are over your feet.

Engage your core (pelvic tilt).

Drive your feet to the ground and use your legs to lift your body up from the chair. As you stand up, try to keep your knees AWAY from each other. If you notice that your knees are dipping in, you are not effectively using your glutes and may hurt your knees. Once you fully stand, give your glutes a little squeeze. You do not have to have your arms stretched out in front of you (as the picture shows).

Need one last tip to combat sitting? Drink water.

Water has so many benefits for your body but mostly importantly, it makes you go to the bathroom, so you are FORCED to take hourly breaks/walks.

Urban Health Group LLC is a boutique-style, concierge for healthcare navigation and mental health support based in Oakland, California. We empower Black Indigenous People of Color (B.I.P.O.C.) with tools and support to effectively navigate their health and mental health needs for better wellness.  We are eliminating healthcare disparities and reducing healthcare biases head on through strategic partnerships.

What we offer at Urban Health Group:
One-on-One Healthcare Navigation Support and our Plan Well for Care Course:
https://www.urbanhealthgroupllc.com/plan-well-course.html

We can help connect you with a therapist at Urban Catalyst Psychotherapy:
  https://www.urban-catalyst.org/ 


Join our Wellness Programs and Series:
-Stay up-to-date by visiting our Events page
https://www.urbanhealthgroupllc.com/events.html
-Life / Work Balance Reset Series
-Couples Communication Series

Wellness Programming for companies & non-profits.
​Inquire here, Wellness Catalog available: https://www.urbanhealthgroupllc.com/consulting-services.html

Resources:
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/the-dangers-of-sitting
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-big-numberthe-average-us-adult-sits-65-hours-a-day-for-teens-its-even-more/2019/04/26/7c29e4c2-676a-11e9-a1b6-b29b90efa879_story.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

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