Like this toddler balancing on a basketball, at any age we too can benefit from good balance. Among a host of other health hazards, ankle strength and standing balance take a hit as a result of prolonged sitting. Why does balance matter? Ask anyone, young or old, who has sprained an ankle when stepping off a curb, playing tennis, or slipping in a tub if he or she recommends adopting a preventive stance. Of course one could argue that all the fitness in the world won’t prevent all ankle injuries. Cynicism aside, rehearsed balance reflexes can be a formula for long term lower limb health and life vitality. Balance comes from a host of commands from the brain and spine, all dependent on regular movement – use it or lose it.
Include these preventive exercises throughout your work day:
- Ankle Rolls (both directions) and point/Flex
- Toe spread and toe squeeze
- Get up, gentle lunges with back straight (don’t allow your knees to bend beyond your toes)
- Gentle calf stretches – hold no longer than 10 seconds. Stretch with knee bent and also with knee straight.
- Calf raises
- Take the stairs
- Squat to sit (practice using your leg and buttocks muscles to sit back down rather than flopping into chairs
- Stand on one foot and then on the other for 30 seconds. Eyes open and then eyes closed. When your eyes are closed, hold onto something! Try one foot stands when on a conference call – but be careful not to fall!
- One foot stand and reach: reach down and pick up an object off the floor a few times. Slowly stand up.
- One foot stand and sway: Sway so that your balance alternates between the front, back, upper left, upper right, back left, back right of your foot. Stand next to a wall in the event you need to catch a fall.
Remember! Prevention, Not Pain: calf pain can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis or other ailments requiring medical intervention. It is best to check with your physician if you have any symptoms of lower leg pain, tingling, or weakness.
In next week’s blog, I’ll be mapping out what a healthy work day actually looks like. How can one fit health into an already packed day? Look out for this blog and see a healthy work day appears before your eyes. In the meantime, visit us on Facebook at www.HandsOnHealthNC.com/facebook and give us your opinion. All together, how much time do you think it takes (total) to include healthy activities in your work day?
Learn more about balance in the workplace, ankle injuries, and health hazards in the workplace:
- Ankle Sprain Is A Health Hazard and Sprained ankle recovery tips from a golf expert and The Common Ankle Sprain
- Ergonomic exercises for the ankle and lower leg
- How sitting effects the health of your “Second Heart”
- Get up and put the breaks on cancer
- Work Death Infographic
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Hands On Health Massage Therapy And Wellness
7980 Chapel Hill Road, Ste 125
Cary NC 27513