Healthy working: Back exercises for the office

Office-friendly workouts that keep your body relaxed and stretched?
Enjoy ekomia's active routine for a relaxed body and a focused mind.

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In companies, most work is being done while sitting. In office jobs, we sit for an average of 9.6 hours a day. Even though we know that the human body is not suitable for long sitting hours, we ignore this fact and neglect our backs until they painfully respond back. We rush to the orthopedist or physical therapist and expect the pain to vanish for once and for all.

However, for people who keep sitting for 8 hours a day, paying the chiropractor a visit every once in a while will not be enough. Rather, one have to do something regularly and preventively.

Ergonomic furniture, such as an adjustable desk and a simple Pilates exercise ball, are a good investment for the health of the back.

Our electric height-adjustable desk Levi is designed to help you work more flexibly and agilely. Simply adjust the heights as desired with the electric control and switch between sitting and standing - keeping your back flexible and less likely to experience painful back sores due to rigid bad postures.

Yet, even a height-adjustable office desk is not the absolute magical solution. 

Incorporating more movement breaks into the workday has a great importance.

Subsequently, we invited our Yoga and Pilates expert, Gabriela, to know if there are any excises that might be suitable to do in the office. 

ekomia: Are there simple exercises to be done at the desk that actually have huge impact?

Gabriela: The height-adjustable table specifically can be used wonderfully as an aid for many exercises. Whether it’s stretching to activate muscle groups, balance or strengthening and relaxation exercises, find yourself an exercise sequence, that suits you the most.

We have collectively put our everyday office exercises for you. Whether with the electrically adjustable office desk or without, choose a few exercise sequences that do you good.

Exercise 1: Backstretch 

Back stretching at Levi 

Gabriela: Set up the table at waist height. Place your elbows up and away from the table, feet as far apart as possible so that your back reaches maximum length. Your knees are in a micro-bend. Stay in this position for a few seconds. To feel even more length in your lower back, an exercise partner can help. For example, the second person can put a belt around your waist and lean slightly with the belt. 

Exercise 2: Triceps Dips

Triceps Dips
Deep-set Levi 

Gabriela: Set up the table at hip height. Support yourself with your palms turned inward. Raise and lower your body alternately to work your arm muscles. Repeat the exercise five times, staying down for four breaths on the last time.

Exercise 3: Peaceful warrior

Peaceful warrior
High-set Levi

Gabriela: Raise the table to chest height. Now support yourself with your right arm. Extend the right leg outward. Bend the left arm and the right leg diagonally to the center of the body and extend them again. Repeat this a few times and switch sides.

Exercise 4: Stretch and Relax

Stretch and Relax
Stability support by Levi 

Gabriela: Lower the table a little and adopt a lying position. Your hips should be close to the table frame so that your raised legs are at a 90-degree angle to your body. You can achieve a better stretch by bending each other's legs and gently pressing against the extended leg.

ekomia: Are there any other aspects in general that we can consider for our back health?

Gabriela: Incorporate more movement into your work schedule. The recommendation for healthy ergonomics here can be described with the following equation: 50% sitting, 25% standing, 25% moving. There are several ways to implement this. Generally, you should try to talk on the phone or even participate in short meetings while standing. A small stool for one foot can be used for support. Alternating between activities while sitting and standing increases productivity and satisfaction while working.

Additionally, using "do not disturb" signs and turning off cell phones creates fewer distractions at work.

Moreover, more walkways should be intentionally created. One variation here would be to place equipment such as printers and copiers further apart.

Nevertheless, a small break should be provided every 60 minutes for more relaxation. Consequently, body and mind get the chance to rest and one can additionally get some exercise.

Enough spare time should be left in the schedule in case of the occurrence of unpredictable matters, in order to avoid additional stress. Too much workload, deadline pressure, interruptions, information overload and imprecise instructions are also factors for increased tension. A pedometer can be used as a "stress killer", as it incorporates the optimal amount of movement into one’s daily routine.

Regular meditation also enables a state of inner peace, and gratitude exercises also have a positive effect. In general, you should make sure that you consciously divide up your day. The 8-8-8 rule means eight hours each of work, rest and a good night's sleep.

ekomia: Thank you for your time, dear Gabriela. 

If you feel like attending one of Gabriella’s online yoga classes, we highly recommend the yoga and Pilates studio Yoga W60.
Every Wednesday instructs Gabriela a wonderful on- and offline session at 8pm. Each class is redesigned and taught depending on the course of the day, which is a real gem in our opinion.

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