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Workers Need to Be Creative in Exercising to Avoid Becoming a Workplace Distraction for Colleagues or family members (for those working from home and sharing their workspace with family members)

Next week I will be writing a blog on Ergonomics, To get us through Thanksgiving, here are eight exercises you can do at your workstation without drawing undue attention to yourself. You do not have to do all of them. Discuss any exercise regimen you want to adopt with your physician who is in a better position to access what your body can handle.

If you find any of these exercises too stressful it means you have not yet built yourself up to handle them or you have been under-exercising for some time and need to start slowly and build up or you have some medical conditions that need to be addressed.

1. Leg Lifts. While seated Lift both legs to thigh or chair seat level and lower them again. Do this about 5 times. This exercise helps in improving circulation to the legs. It could also help in tightening abdominal muscles and improve bowel movement and fecal waste removal if you are slightly constipated.

2. Lift up one leg and lower it as if walking while seated. Do the same thing with the other leg. Repeat a few times while typing away on the keyboard.

3. Look as far as possible at an object or the wall or ceiling to rest your eyes often when working.

4. Reach up to shelves with both hands if you have shelves that are above head level when you are seated. If the shelve is located at the side, touch the shelf one side at a time turning your chair around to speak to or as if to speak to your neighbor. This will exercise your arms, hands and fingers.

5. While seated reach down by bending down over bended knees as if to pick up something from the floor in front of you. This will exercise your back and the whole of your upper torso. Do this slowly. Sharp movement could hurt especially if you have not been in the habit of exercising your muscles prior to starting this exercise regime.

6. To exercise your neck and shoulders, while seated bend your shoulders inwards while keeping your hands on your thighs and seating up straight. You can also do this while typing on the keyboard.

7. While in the toilet cubicle, do a few crouches and stretches. Crouch down and stand up a few times.

8. Walk over to talk to a colleague and ask questions instead of waiting for him or her to come to you. It makes you look humble and you also gain the benefit of exercise

9. Make a conscious effort to blink often. There is research that shows that we humans blink 66% less on the computer.

Again please note that all exercises should be discussed with your physician before you start to ensure you are physically able to do them without hurting yourself. Secondly, start slowly and build up. Start with whatever is easiest for you.

You do not need to do all these exercises just do whatever you need. These are all only provided to provide choice.

I hope I have helped get us to begin to appreciate the fact that there are baby steps we can take that can have a huge positive impact on our lives when it comes to exercising to help us cope with some of the inherent stress in computer use.

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