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Return to Workplace Practical Guide During and Beyond COVID-19

Section TwoDownload this section
Physical Health


Looking after physical health remains as important as ever.
Creating a New Routine for Your Working Day

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1. Make a plan

Try to structure your day so you can be 100% focused while at work, yet fully disengage when it’s time to switch off. Start work at normal hours. Take breaks as you used to do, to get a drink or a snack. Schedule lunchtime and open the windows (in non-sealed environments) to let in as much daylight and fresh air as possible. And then clock off at the right time for you.

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2. Have a designated workspace

One of the biggest challenges when we are working at home is keeping work and personal lives separate. The same can be said for when we are back in the office. We need to be able to mentally at least, open and close our ‘office’ each working day. This may mean simply spreading a sheet or blanket over your workspace, so you can’t look at it during leisure time.

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3. Healthy meals

Remember when you were young, and your mum or dad or guardian sent you to school with a nutritious packed lunch? Well, not every day. Nowadays, we tend to rush out to buy a sandwich or a bowl of noodles to eat quickly. The lessons we learned when working from home stand us well now. Preparing a tasty meal in advance – maybe cooking-up a whole batch at once – can pay dividends. The act of preparing and eating meal – even a simple one – can bring great comfort.

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4. Maintain contact with colleagues

Social interaction with colleagues did not stop during the outbreak. In today’s world, we are fortunate to have plenty of ways to maintain contact with colleagues based in multiple locations. We can keep it up – checking-in to ensure they are OK.

Exercising When Back at Work

In the same way that we discovered exercises we could do at home, here are ten easy exercises you can do in your workplace, recommended by https://snacknation.com/blog/office-exercises/

Upper Body

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1. Triceps Dips

To do this move, you’ll need a stationary (not wheeled!) chair. Sit at the front of the chair, with both hands facing forward. Place palms flat on chair, bend your elbows straight back, and lower yourself straight down several inches, keeping your back as close to the chair as possible. Then straighten your arms to rise back to start. Complete 20 dips.

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2. Arm Pulses

These work your triceps and help stretch out your shoulders. Stand up at your desk with arms by your sides and palms facing behind. Pulse the arms backward for 20 seconds, keeping arms as long and straight as possible.

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3. Arm Circles

This move gives new meaning to the term “circle back.” Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight out to sides at shoulder height. Move your arms in a small backward circle. Do 20 times in this direction, switch directions, and repeat.

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4. Desk Push-Ups

First things first: Make sure your desk is sturdy enough to support your bodyweight! Then, take a few steps back, so you can place your hands flat on your desk, a little wider than shoulder-width. Lower yourself down toward your desk, keeping your core tight. Then push back up until arms are straight but not locked. Try to do 20 reps.

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5. Wall Push-Ups

Here’s a modified version of the desk version. Stand a few steps from a wall and lean toward it, placing your hands flat and wider than your shoulders. Lower yourself down toward the wall, keeping your abs tight to maintain a straight line from your head to your toes, then push back up until your arms are straight (but not locked). Complete 20 reps.

Lower Body

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6. Chair Squats

These are useful exercises which can be done at any time, between meetings, on a call, any time. All you have to do is stand up from your chair, lower your body back down, stopping right before you sit back down. (Keep your weight in your heels to work those glutes). Then stand back up again. Repeat 10 times.

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7. Standing Rear Pulses

Holding the edge of your desk for support, bend one leg behind you, flexing the foot. Raise your heel up a few inches, then release slightly and press your foot directly back behind you. Continue to alternate between lifting your heel up, then pressing it back. Do 20 to 30 reps, then switch sides.

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8. Pretend to use a skipping rope/span>

Hop on both feet at once – or alternate if you need to modify. You can up the intensity by moving your arms as if you were holding a rope.

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9. Calf Raises

Stand up behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Do 3 sets of 10.

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10. Wall Sits

Slide your back down a wall until your hips are at the same level as your knees and your knees are together at 90-degree angles. Maintain the position for 30 to 60 seconds, then release. Aim for 15 reps.