Why moving your body at work is beneficial for your health and focus

Do you ever feel restless or agitated after sitting at your desk after a few hours and don’t know why?

The human body has adapted over thousands of years through constant gradual movement, it’s only in the last few centuries have we confined ourselves to the bonds of office jobs.


This is quite a usual work routine, picture this scenario:

It’s a normal day at the office and you’re working a project for the boss. You sat down around 9am got up for a cup of coffee at 11am and now it’s 1pm and you’re starting to feel irritable and are experiencing some brain fog. You’ve been getting the work done and your ticking all the boxes but something just doesn’t feel right inside.

This is very common scenario among office workers or anyone who has to sit or has to stay stagnant in one place for hours on end.

There’s many researched backed studies coming out to support the fact that humans should not remain in one stagnant state for hours on end. One such scientist who has performed his studies on the subject of human movement, or lack of, while working in stationary positions is Jack Groppel.

He recommends that if you are going to be in one spot for extended amounts of time set small periodical scheduled breaks throughout the day. In these breaks move your body to counter the fact that you have been sitting in one place. Movements like gentle stretching such as bending forwards to touch your toes while standing then bending backwards to counter that initial forward movement stretch are great for getting the body back into a slightly more mobile state.

Another more gentle relaxing movement is evening getting up from your desk and finding a quiet place where you can lie flat on your back with your knees pointing to the roof and eyes closed.

This may not seem like much of a stretch but it actually is and it also takes your eyes away from the short focus point of the screen or books which helps relax them.

If you don’t feel like stretching but doing something more energetic and explosive in terms of movement you can always try standing up and doing some squats or lunge squats down a hallway or even better if you can get outside. Some other more strenuous exercises to get the blood pumping are push ups or even more physical are burpees. Before you jump right into these at one hundred percent though make sure you do do a couple at lighter pace to warm the body up and get the body ready. If you jump right into explosive exercises without giving yourself a chance to warm up it may cause injury in the way of straining your muscles or doing some type of joint damage.


What about if your day job already requires physical movement?

If you’re already moving your body in your day to day job that’s great, you’re one step ahead of people who are sitting stagnant.

But this type of work can come with other health risks. How many times have you heard people that work in say trade related jobs for example such as builders, carpenters, plumbers etc complain of sore lower backs or joint pain. It’s almost a common occurrence.

So how can they prevent this types of injuries while still moving on a regular basis. One way is to make sure they alway have the correct protective footwear requirements and the right supportive workwear.

Another may is make sure you don’t make movements that may harm your body. An example of this is lifting with poor or incorrect posture. Picking objects up, especially heavy objects, with a bent over back and non bent legs can cause damage to your back in particular your spine.

Always be conscious and aware of your posture every time you go to lift or carry tools or equipment and be very cautious if they are heavy.