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Are Desk-Bound Individuals More Susceptible to Health and Mobility Issues?​

Ever feel the ache from sitting too much at your desk? Shikha Puri Arora has the game plan you need in her latest book, Move Better.  This book isn’t just about sitting less; it’s your ticket to feeling awesome every day and staying away from ache-y postures and limited mobility.

Read this exclusive excerpt to learn simple tricks that can make sitting at your desk a breeze, keeping discomfort away and bringing more pep to your step.
Say goodbye to desk discomfort and hello to a healthier, happier you!

Move Better
Move Better || Shikha Puri Arora

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A comprehensive approach to employee quality of life needs to be adopted so that they can deliver top-notch performance while thinking of their long-term well-being. Most approaches ignore the following factors:

• Most individuals are sedentary twenty-three hours a day and move just an hour. This makes them struggle with the basics of human function and health.

 

• A deskbound individual has limited range of motion in the joints and stiff muscles that are the consequence of inadequate hydration and poor posture. Efforts to increase mobility without addressing the causes are of little use.

 

• Stored muscle tension and emotions that are not removed from the physical body cause breathing limitations, which lead to anxiety and nervous tension. The state of the body detracts from the value of the courses undertaken to improve mental health. Troubleshooting the physical body thus becomes a pre-requisite for mental health.

 

• Basic movement mechanics of spinal stability, sitting, bending, standing, walking are untrained, thus neutralizing any benefit derived from fitness activities.

 

General fitness and corporate programmes don’t provide solutions to these causes and their effects. Employee welfare can be addressed only by including all these above aspects into a programme that focuses on the basics of health and well-being.

 

These techniques must be used by deskbound individuals to add mobility solutions to their daily life. Besides combating pain, the solutions provided make the brain alert and promote relaxation in the body. None of these divert the already preoccupied mind while working and can be used every day to increase blood circulation. These self-care techniques counter the effects of daily life stress and come with many benefits.

 

 

• Sitting with a wedge cushion keeps the spine erect and brain alert. The spine can stay erect longer without a back support and feel no fatigue. This is half the battle won as mobility isn’t compromised.

 

• Using a stick/rolling pin or ball under the foot at a standing desk prevents the fatigue (from standing), enhances posture and increases blood circulation. This is a position that encourages brain activity, improves concentration and creativity, and charges up the brain with ideas, increasing output. This is also a great way to increase NEAT calories for those individuals who have excessive sedentary hours.

 

• Rubbing a myofascial ball along the sides of the neck, jaw and head is an anxiety and stress-buster that increases circulation in the head and eyes. The entire action is inconspicuous!

 

• Myofascial release for the glutes keeps the hip mobile. Simply place a hard to medium ball under the buttocks. To prevent the ball from sinking into your chair you can use a hard placemat under the ball. This technique also massages the glutes and increases blood circulation in the area.

 

• Myofascial release for hamstrings ensures you will never have to experience back pain because of sitting! Imagine the magic of lengthening your hamstrings while you sit. For details on the technique, refer to page 205.

 

 

• Wrist, palm and forearm release with a ball not only improves mobility in the wrist, fingers and forearm, but it counters the stress on the palms, fingers, wrist and forearms caused by using devices.

 

Image 1: Place a ball under the wrist with your palms facing upwards. Place the other hand on top to put a gentle pressure and mobilize the wrist by moving it up and down. This instantly gives relief from wrist pain.

 

Image 2: While standing, lean forward and put your body weight on a medium to hard ball placed under your palms. The pressure will automatically make your palm and fingers feel light. Those with carpal tunnel will get some ease from this simple release technique.

 

Image 3: Place a hard to medium ball on one forearm and dig into various areas of the forearm. This gives instantly relief for those suffering from tennis elbow.

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Get your copy of Move Better by Shikha Puri Arora wherever books are sold

Get moving into a healthy life

‘Movement is the cure’

– Shwetambari Shetty

 

‘I’ve trained with many people who completely turned around their circumstances once they started incorporating exercise they enjoyed in their fitness regime’, writes Shwetambari Shetty. Her book, Get Moving!, is, among other things, a curation of the ways of fitness. The focus of her exercises, and the broader driving philosophy is that the human body is made for movement; it is in its natural habitat when moving. In her book, Shetty also details how exercise, diet and fitness routines have helped people with lifestyle diseases, and she explains the impact of physical movement on some of these medical conditions:

 

  1. Diabetes

Regular exercise keeps blood glucose levels low, and Shetty says that a brisk 45-minute walk for 5–6 days a week is a great start. If yoga or weight training is added to the routine, it enhances the benefits. Weight gain in diabetes is most likely due to inactivity, and a well-planned diet with reduced sugar intake can help reduce excess fat. Taking the stairs instead of the lift, watering the plants instead of assigning it to someone else, doing the dishes instead of using a dishwasher or walking to the grocery store instead of taking your car are small changes that can have a big positive impact on our health.

 

 

  1. Thyroid

A modified diet should be accompanied by training 4 to 6 times a week. Patients with hypothyroidism can boost their metabolism through exercise, but intense activities can cause fatigue. The key here is to choose medium- to low-intensity workouts. Combining cardio and light weight training is a constructive change, in addition to functional training and circuit training without heavy lifting. If this not possible, brisk walking once or twice a day can clock in 10,000 to 12,000 steps daily, and is a good substitute.

front cover Get Moving
Get Moving!||Shwetambari Shetty

 

 

  1. PCOS/D

Working out regularly stabilizes the hormone levels in the body, and helps manage PCOS/D more easily. Walking, running, dancing, rowing, boxing and exercising on the cross trainer or treadmill are all great. Another good option is cycling, which works the abs and burns a lot of calories. Swimming also works as great strength and cardio training. Combining it with a bit of light weight training protects the muscle mass and make fat burn more effective.

 

 

  1. Arthritis

People with arthritis should avoid processed food (especially sugar) as it causes inflammation and bloating. Bone broths, on the other hand, are extremely beneficial. In addition to diet, the focus in terms of exercise should be on strengthening the muscles around the joints. Stronger muscles help mitigate the pain and increase the range of motion, delaying stiffness, allowing you to keep exercising and managing the condition better. Water-based activities such as water walking (if you can’t swim) are much safer and less painful. They build resistance, help gain strength and burn calories in the process. Aerobics, dance, weightlifting and squats too can be done more easily in water.

 

 

A lot of the conditions described are amplified by a sedentary lifestyle, and therefore, consistent activity throughout the day is a good way to keep the symptoms at bay. Lifestyle diseases do not preclude people from working out; it only means that the workouts need to be tailored in such a way that they address the specific problems at hand. Movement, as a rule of thumb, is the best way to avoid these conditions from getting out of control, allowing us more manageable and healthy lifestyles, where nothing is an impediment.

 

 

 

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