Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April

The benefits of getting active in the workplace

We’re sharing tips on how to get started, stretches for desk-workers and outlining 3 of the amazing benefits of introducing physical activity into your workday and/or workplace. It’ll not only benefit your health and wellbeing – it has a big impact on your performance at work too!

1. Improved cognitive stimulation

Movement increases the blood flow throughout your body, including to the brain, which improves concentration, memory, creativity, learning and mental stamina. All this ultimately means that your productivity at work is increased.

2. Reduced stress and anxiety

Physical activity increases your endorphin production – those happy, feel-good hormones, which we all need more of pumping around our bodies. The hormones drastically improve your mood. Consistent physical activity elevates your mood and reduces the production of stress and anxiety causing hormones.

3. Improved workplace morale and engagement

The positive effects of physical activity as an individual magnify when individuals come together as a collective, such as in the workplace. Improving the general energy of an environment will also assist in increasing productivity and effectiveness. Getting active as a group, like in a Pilates class, allows for socialising, bonding and support, which make physical activity much more fun and assists in developing camaraderie amongst coworkers.

Easy ways to get active at work

RunningSo how do you get started? An initiative like Active April is a great place to start. Remember, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming or a huge change. If you haven’t already registered, you can register now for Active April.

Start simply – go for a walk at lunchtime with your coworkers, or organise a group personal training session or lunchtime group yoga or pilates. A group pilates session can be fun and enjoyable, while having the ability to cater to individual needs and abilities.

So why not start today? Incorporate some group activity goals and improve your health, wellbeing and effectiveness at work.


The benefits of stretching

Don’t forget that stretching is also crucial to your wellbeing, especially for those of us that can be stuck at a desk for hours every day. Stretching will warm up those stagnant areas of your body, allowing the blood to flow naturally. This simple activity relieves muscle fatigue and sends extra blood to your brain, which can also become stagnant the more you sit still.

Here are three excellent stretches for those office workers who find their upper body becomes sore and tight from sitting in an upright desk position. They can be done seated while you work, or take the time to step away from your desk and allow yourself to become fully immersed in the release of the stretch. And don’t forget to get up every hour and take a few moments away from your desk!

1. Neck stretch*

  • Core-neck-stretchGently tilt your left ear towards your shoulder, feel a stretch down your neck
  • Take your right hand behind your back and your left hand gently on your head to increase the stretch
  • Hold the stretch for 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat x 3 on each side
  • This can be done 3 – 6 times a day

* This stretch can be done sitting at your desk or standing up.

2. Chest / pec stretch*

  • Core-chest-and-pec-stretchBring your hands behind your back and clasp your hands together
  • Gently lift your hands off your back, keep your arms straight and palms together
  • Feel the stretch at the front of your chest and upper back
  • Hold the stretch for 30 – 60 seconds. Repeat x 3
  • This can be done 3 – 6 times a day

* This stretch can be done sitting at your desk or standing up.

Core-back-bends3. Back bends / extension in standing pose*

  • Stand up straight
  • With feet hip width apart, place your hands on the small of your back
  • Gently lean back and feel the stretch across your lower back
  • Do not hold the stretch, this is a repeated movement
  • Repeat it 10 – 15 times, 3 – 6 times a day

* This stretch must be done standing.

Last updated: January 18, 2017 at: 4:12 pm

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