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10 Back Stretches at Work that Will Help Keep Your Employees Happy and Pain Free

desk job

desk jobIf you run an office, you’re all too familiar with the back pain that comes from working at a desk all day. But did you know that 54% of Americans experience lower back pain by sitting too much at their desks?

Based on this figure, it’s likely that some (or many) of your employees are suffering from back pain. And it’s not all that surprising, either!

Sitting for 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week, is bound to put significant strain on our backs. To make matters worse, a lot of people don’t know how to practice proper posture while sitting.

To combat pain and better your business, you can teach back stretches at work that will help your employees. Here are 10 stretches for desk workers that will prevent and relieve back pain!

1. Standing

On the busiest days, it can be hard to remember to stand up and away from the computer. Although standing seems simple, it’s crucial for preventing back pain.

Sitting for long periods of time can put a lot of pressure on our lower and upper backs. By standing, a person can reduce this pressure and relieve pain as a result. It not only feels good, but it improves blood flow.

Standing is not only good for our backs. Standing for up to 2 hours at work may actually have additional health benefits. One study suggests that replacing 2 hours of sitting with standing at work may lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Encourage and remind your employees to stand for a few minutes every hour. You can also promote this exercise by organizing activities that involve standing.

2. Seated Twists

Twisting our upper body can help to relieve tension along the spine.

While twisting, make sure to keep your back straight. It’s important not to twist improperly or too fast. Here’s how to properly do a seated twist:

  • Sit upright in a chair with your head straight
  • Twist to one side as far as you can comfortably go
  • Turn your head in motion with the twist

While twisting, don’t put any pressure on your hand. You can, however, place your hand on your knee while twisting. Encourage your employees to practice deep breathing while performing seated twists.

3. Standing Hamstring

Sitting for long periods of time doesn’t just put strain on our backs. It can also cause tight hamstrings, which can worsen lower back pain.

By stretching out your hamstrings a few times per day, you can relieve and prevent lower back pain. Here’s how to perform a proper standing hamstring stretch:

  • Remove your shoe and stand in front of your desk
  • Raise your right leg and then lower your right heel at the edge of the desk, keeping your leg straight
  • Hold for several seconds; repeat the stretch on the other leg

This standing hamstring stretch can feel too intense for those who aren’t used to it. Luckily, there are easier stretches for desk workers that involve the hamstrings.

Basic Hamstring Stretches

You can teach your employees to pull their torso in while bending their standing leg. They should keep their spines straight as they pull their abdomen in. They should never curve their spines while performing this stretch.

You and your employees should also practice basic toe touching hamstring stretches. These are especially helpful for relieving lower back pain.

You can encourage your employees to do hamstring exercises every day. Provide yoga mats at the office. That way, they can perform toe touches and hamstring stretches more comfortably.

4. Shoulder Shrugs

Often times, there is a strong correlation between upper back pain and neck pain.

Neck pain can impair people’s concentration. As a result, it can then disrupt their work patterns at the office. It can also disrupt their sleep patterns and lead to headaches, shoulder pain, and jaw pain.

You can learn more about the effects of neck pain by studying the benefits of chiropractic care.

Afterward, you may want to schedule a day where a chiropractor visits your office. They can then consult with employees who are experiencing severe neck and back pain.

How to Perform Shoulder Shrugs

You can also teach your employees how to perform neck and back stretches at work. Shoulder shrugs are a classic stretch. They not only relieve upper back and shoulder pain but neck pain, as well.

First, you should sit upright in a chair with their shoulders square. They can then begin to roll their shoulders up towards their ears. Then, they should roll their shoulders back down, dropping and relaxing them.

Additionally, people can perform this stretch in reverse. Encourage your employees to perform shoulder shrugs between 10 and 15 times.

5. Eagle Arms

Eagle arms are another stretch that relieves upper back and shoulder pain. By doing them in addition to shoulder shrugs, your employees can better combat back pain.

Here’s how to perform a proper eagle arm stretch:

  • Sit upright in a chair
  • Stretch your arms parallel to your shoulders and shoulder-width apart
  • Bend your left arm upward
  • Wrap your right arm under and around your left arm
  • Turn your head side-to-side in a slow and careful motion
  • Reverse and repeat this process holding each side for at least 8 breaths

You and your employees can attain the best stretch by trying to clasp your palms together. This may take time to achieve, but it’s possible with frequent practice.

6. Chest Opener

Tight chest and shoulder muscles can lead to upper back pain. That’s where the chest opener stretch comes into play.

Here’s how to perform a chest opener stretch:

  • Sit upright in a chair and interlace your fingers behind you
  • Place your arms on top of the chair behind you
  • Drop your chin to your chest
  • Repeat for at least 8 breaths

The chest opener stretch will not only relieve upper back pain but neck and shoulder pain, as well.

Improve Employee Productivity & Happiness with Back Stretches at Work

Sitting at a desk all day, week in and week out can lead to bigger problems than most employers are willing to admit to.

Constant strain on our backs can cause pain to radiate to other parts of our bodies. This can not only lead to health problems for employees. It can also cause a serious loss of productivity and revenue!

By teaching your employees back stretches at work, you can help them work and live pain-free. And by having happier and healthier employees, your business won’t suffer.

But improving employee happiness doesn’t end with stretches for desk workers! For more tips on how to improve employee productivity and your business, visit our management blog today.

Management

4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace

food

foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.

Conclusion

Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

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Management

How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

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Management

4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.

Visuals

One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.

Whiteboard

When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.

Conclusion

These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

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