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Physical Well-Being At Work – Tackling The Most Common Health Hazards Of Modern Workplaces

Our bodies are usually quite good at taking care of themselves. They tell us the limits to which we can push ourselves and when it is a good time to stop

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As you read this, take a minute to notice the posture of your neck, the bend of your back, the clarity of your vision. Shift your mind from the screen to your body and ask yourself —does anything feel out of place? 

Is there any pain or stiffness or even a mild discomfort? Our bodies are usually quite good at taking care of themselves. They tell us the limits to which we can push ourselves and when it is a good time to stop.

But in the midst of a busy work day, when deadlines are approaching, or clients are upset, the body’s call can be hard to hear. We ignore the shooting pains in our heads, eat the wrong foods that make us tired, or simply slump in our chairs and feel even more defeated. 

Taking daily care of your body can help change all this. Simply check in with your body, identify what it needs and pay heed! Here are some things you can do:

For Eyes

They say that eyes are the windows to our souls. They express our emotions for us, and as such are prone to get affected by the negative ones as well. It is not just the long hours on a laptop that strain the eyes. 

High pressure and stress can also turn up in our eyes as heaviness, blurry vision, hyper sensitivity etc. If unchecked for a while, these can further lead to headaches and more exhaustion. To avoid this, take some time out to care for your eyes every day. 

  • One of the quickest and simplest ways to care for tired eyes is to wash them with cold water
  • Do eye exercises twice a day – move the eye balls up, down, left, right and in circular motion and repeat 10 times
  • Shut your screen, walk away for a while, drink some water or green tea and just look around the room to find more soothing sights 
  • Use cold packs on tired eyes, especially after spending long hours on a screen
  • Close your eyes for a while, bring your awareness to them and adopt the “Gyan Mudra”— bringing the tip of thumb to the tip of the first finger
  • Move somewhere close to a window, preferably a spot from where you can see far off

For the Neck, Back and Shoulders

We all know how desk jobs affect our bodies every day, causing stiffness and aches in the neck, back, shoulders, elbows and wrists. We inadvertently leave our seats to flex and stretch the muscles; and then get right back to the same positions causing those aches in the first place. 

For some, the situation slowly exacerbates into chronic pains that call for outside interventions like pills or physiotherapy. It is possible to tackle the situation before it reaches this level. Here are some exercises you can do right from your desk!

  • Lock the fingers of both your hands, stretch your arms up and then back and pull yourself out; this helps open the muscles of the back and shoulders 
  • Look towards the ceiling and press your neck back to relieve stress in the area
  • Stand with your back to a wall; twist your neck and shoulders around to look at the wall; this is a great way to stretch the whole spine and shoulders
  • Sitting on your chair, lift your left leg and hold its toes with the right hand; repeat with the other leg
  • Sitting on your chair, rest your head on the head rest and pull your lower back in and out
  • Sit on the edge of your chair, with feet resting firmly on the ground; put the right hand on the ground and lift the left hand up in the air; repeat on the other side

For Overall Fitness

If fitness routines have evaded you for a while, here are some ways to bring a healthy regime right into your life. Take some time to think over the following steps, understand what you are trying to achieve from each and why they are important. 

Knowing why you are making some lifestyle choices makes it easier to stick with them. Now, identify the ways you can do the following and make it count!

  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated and detoxified
  • Sit on the ground, whenever possible
  • Go outdoors, and sit amidst the grass and trees, whenever possible
  • Walk! Even if you cannot exercise every day, find opportunities to walk, be it with a purpose or preferably without  
  • Sit upright while watching television; do not lie down as this is terrible posture for your neck and back
  • Sleep before 11 pm and wake up with the sunrise
  • Switch your coffee for green tea
  • Smile and laugh, whenever you can!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Saroj Modi

The author is Co- Founder, The Inner Startup

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