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Wellness at Work: Five Tips for Staying ‘In Shape’ at the Office

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Lauren-Gunn-pic-484x480 (Image: Dallas J. Logan)

Several cases of back problems are caused by not having proper alignment while working at a desk for hours on end without moving or sitting properly. Though all of us cannot have standing desks or treadmills, there are a few ways that we can make our work spaces more peaceful and make sure that we are not sabotaging our health from improper posture.

Lauren Gunn is a fitness entrepreneur and educator. The founder of TopGunn Fitness, Gunn is celebrated for reaching a broad demographic through writing, lifestyle coaching/personal training, and androgynous modeling. Currently a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, Gunn lives to create and propagate holistic health and happiness through transformative language, movement, and education.

[Related: 4 Simple Steps to Get Fit With Your Family]

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Lauren to get her 5 tips for staying healthy during your time at work:

1. Survey for symmetryBalancing wellness and work can prove to be a formidable challenge; nonetheless, you can center yourself by arranging items at your workstation around your body. Place your seat in the middle of your desk. Organize objects evenly at both sides of your desk. Position your computer directly in front of your body.

2. Work your coreSitting properly engages many muscles and repetitive sluggish seating can misshape your body. Keep your head between your shoulders and your torso slightly contracted while sitting at your desk. If you are inclined to lean forward, get your vision checked and/or adjust the view on your computer. A proper seated position trains your trunk and prevents you from acquiring caveman posture.

3. Stand strongTake your wellness to the next level by getting a standing desk. Employers are recognizing the benefits of supporting employees’ health and are progressively becoming more open to the idea. If are deskbound, request a standing desk or a desk that converts into a standing desk. Solid posture is imperative. Your back should be erect, with the exception of the slight natural curvatures in the spine. Initially, stand for fifteen minutes a day, then increase the duration as your endurance builds.

4. Make strides. After you have been standing strong, consider adding a treadmill to your standing desk. Increase the duration and, ultimately, the speed over time.  If your workplace is adverse to you taking such bold steps, be certain to walk daily during breaks and take the stairs. You can increase speed and distance as you become stronger. Your body should be poised when walking and stair stepping to promote a healthy posture and avert the onset of postural distortions.

5. Extend yourself. Stretch your neck; tuck in your chin and slowly move your head from one side to the opposite side. Elongate your back: stretch your arms directly above your head; bend forward at the waist while maintaining a flat back; rest your hands on a stable surface; apply pressure from your torso. Lengthen your legs: extend your legs while sitting down; when standing with your back facing a wall (to avoid inappropriate exposure) reach toward toes with straightened, but unbuckled knees.