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Put a little pep into your office life – fitness tips for the deskbound

Working in an office can be very comfortable. We sit all day long with only the occasional short walk. Often we don't get enough exercise, and this can lead to back and neck problems. A few simple tricks can put some zest into our everyday office life.

Anyone who works in an office knows what it's like. People tend to sit for hours in the same position, looking at a computer screen. In the normal course of events, we only ever get up to go to the printer, to the toilet or for lunch. Often we don't get enough exercise, which can lead to the build-up of tension in the back and neck. But it doesn't have to be like this. All we have to do to make our working day more dynamic is to make small changes in our habits.

Don't use the phone – try walking instead
Get out of the habit of sitting for long periods; move around whenever you can. Instead of reaching for the phone, why not go and talk to your co-worker in person. Of course, you should take the stairs and not the lift. Sometimes you simply won't have time to go and see a co-worker in person. In this case you could introduce some variety by standing up to make the phone call.

Have a stretch in the corridor
Put the printer outside the office so that you have a longer walk to it. This will also make the office quieter, especially during busy periods. On your way to the printer you can make time to stretch your back muscles and shake out your arms and legs. You should also make sure that you drink enough. This will ensure that your body is properly hydrated, and it may prompt you to go to the toilet more often – which will give you some extra exercise.

More opportunities for exercise at your desk
If you really can't get away from your screen, you should at least try to change your sitting position three or four times an hour. This will change the load on your spine each time. You can also arrange your workplace in such a way that you can't reach everything from your seat. Why not place your water bottle, hole punch, stapler and phone in different parts of the room? You could also put your waste paper bin farther away from your desk, which will give you the opportunity to stand up and take your rubbish to the bin. You can find more information about exercises you can do at your desk here.

Get out into the fresh air

Regular exercise ensures that there is a healthy flow of blood to the brain. A walk outdoors at lunchtime will help clear your head and give you more energy. Getting out into the natural world will also help ensure that you don't develop a vitamin D deficiency – especially in winter when we spend so much of the day indoors.

Contribution to your health
SWICA supports you in your preventive healthcare efforts in the areas of exercise, nutrition and relaxation by providing generous contributions (e.g. for gym memberships) under the COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA supplementary insurance plans. Our customer service desk would be delighted to offer you advice 24 hours a day on the free helpline (0800 80 90 80).