#WeStayAtHome - The consequence: work, school, studies and leisure time take place almost exclusively at home. The usual training, whether at the club, the gym or the swimming pool, is unfortunately not possible during Corona. People leave the house much less than usual and many spend a lot of time sitting in the home office.
Very quickly you can feel how the restricted movement has a negative effect on the body: The neck is tense, the back pinches or the knees hurt. To counteract the lack of movement, sport and exercise are more important than ever, especially in the current situation. In addition to physical well-being, they have been proven to promote mental well-being. So that you can continue to keep fit with sport in the Corona time in the home office, we have put together some valuable tips and a small exercise programme for you to do at home:
With these simple exercises you can also work on good posture at home, strengthen and loosen the muscles and get your pulse going. The circulation and metabolism are activated, the body is relieved and the mind is revitalised. What do you need for this? Only you and your body! So let's get going!
General tips for everyday life in the home office
- Regular daily routine: Make sure you have a regular daily routine in your home office. Plan not only fixed working hours at the computer, but also active breaks and relaxation and offline phases. Fixed time slots for eating and exercise will help you to keep your resolutions. Also set yourself a time deadline to find an end and consciously conclude the working day.
- Daylight and fresh air: Make sure you get enough daylight and fresh air. For example, use your lunch break to go for a walk or run. You will probably feel more concentrated and alert afterwards. Ventilate regularly: The fresh air can help combat fatigue and increase concentration.
- Eat and drink: Plan a lunch break and other small breaks with healthy snacks. Make sure you always drink enough water or unsweetened tea.
- Every step counts: Try to move as much as possible. Track your steps to have a daily goal in mind (e.g. 10,000 steps per day). If possible, work while standing or walking. For example, when making a phone call or a zoom call, do not remain seated, but complete the call while standing or even walking.
- Incorporate movement exercises into everyday life: People who sit at their desks all day in the office and stare at their screens often suffer from tension, neck and back problems. Good movement habits and a few minutes of targeted exercise per day can help prevent these very complaints.
1. Posture building in sitting
If sitting for long periods of time is unavoidable, make sure to change your sitting position frequently. This relieves tense parts of the body and prevents tension in the back. But always try to return to an optimal sitting position.
Optimise the following points:
- Pelvis: Ensure a medium pelvic position (no hollow back).
- Torso: Pull the belly button slightly inwards/upwards to activate the torso.
- Chest: Do a "proud chest" and stretch your sternum forward/upward
- Shoulders: Pull your shoulders backwards/downwards
- Head: Take your chin up and slightly back
- Entire spine: Grow upwards
2. Mobilisation routine
In order not to get rusty in the home office, it is important to mobilise stressed body regions regularly. In doing so, you improve the blood circulation in the stressed regions and prevent tension and poor posture. Incorporate the small mobilisation exercises into your daily desk routine. You can do them directly while sitting with minimal effort:
- Circle shoulders backwards (approx. 15-20 times)
- Crawl: Hands on shoulders, 'crawl' shoulders backwards, also in opposite directions (approx. 15-20 times)
- Scarecrow: Raise hands upwards, 90 degree angle at elbow' bring forearms up and down (15 times)
- Twist with straightening: bring the hand to the outside of the opposite knee, turn to the opposite side and stretch the arm backwards, the gaze goes with it (8 times on each side)
3. Strengthening of weakened and stretching of overloaded muscles
The one-sided sitting posture can lead to muscular imbalance in the body. To counteract this, it is important to strengthen and stretch regularly: Abdominal and buttock muscles are weakened by sitting for hours on end. The body can no longer maintain an upright position. Back and neck muscles become overloaded and tense.
Strengthen leg and butt muscles with these exercises
- Squat (with counter-arm pull): Your legs are hip-width apart, push your buttocks back until you touch the chair and return to the starting position. Make sure your knees do not extend beyond the tips of your toes. Pull the belly button towards you. You can stretch the arms forward-upwards to stabilise. 15-20 repetitions.
- Side Lunge: Perform a lunge to the side, bending one leg, keeping the other leg extended on the floor, shifting the upper body forward and the buttocks back. Press back to the starting position with the bent leg. 15-20 repetitions per side.
Strengthen your core, chest and shoulder/arm muscles with these exercises.
- Push Up: Get into a supporting position e.g. on your desk, head, shoulders, hips and feet in line, pull in your belly button, lower your body to the desk by bending your elbows and push up again. 10-15 repetitions.
- Triceps Dip: Stand backwards in front of your desk, place your hands on the edge, fingers pointing forward, feet a little further in front. Slowly bend your elbow and lower your buttocks down. Extend the elbow and come back to the starting position. Make sure your back stays long and your buttocks close to the table. 10-15 repetitions.
With this exercise you stretch the hip muscles
- Square: While sitting, place your opposite ankle on your knee, let the knee sink down and open the hip. Support the stretch lightly with one hand on the knee. Approx. 30 seconds per side.
With this exercise you stretch the neck muscles
- Trapezius stretch: While sitting, bring your head into a sideways tilt (ear to shoulder), support the stretch slightly with your hand, pull down slightly with the opposite arm, after a few seconds turn your chin towards your shoulder. Approx. 30 seconds per side.
- Relaxation / meditation: Take the opportunity to consciously relax for a few minutes after a long day at work. Lie down on the floor on a mat or carpet and breathe consciously through your nose into your stomach for a few minutes. This exercise helps you to switch off your thoughts and start the evening relaxed.
What is not easy in the office needs even more discipline at home. So don't just plan your working hours at home, but also active breaks and relaxation phases. The reward is a resilient body and mind. Good luck!