The work routine can be exhausting, even in apparently harmless environments such as offices. Incorrect posture and repetitive habits for many hours contribute to the emergence of occupational diseases. And that’s where the importance of work gymnastics comes in.
“By encouraging the practice of work gymnastics, the employer contributes to the health of employees and can even improve the performance of the company,” says José Ricardo Lourenço de Oliveira, lecturer, consultant and director of the UNIL Intelligent Solutions Group, a specialized company in occupational health and work safety practices.
Work gymnastics elevates the quality of life
Work gymnastics consists of a series of elongation and muscle relaxation exercises. The activities are related to the area of action of the collaborator and the work routine.
The main advantage of encouraging work gymnastics is the increase in the quality of life of employees, explains Oliveira. “Quality of life in the broadest sense of the concept, because the benefits are not limited to the prevention of diseases, but include sociability and social interaction,” says the specialist.
With the help of the consultant, we list below some of the main benefits of work gymnastics, both for companies and for employees.
1. Prevention of diseases
Work gymnastics is essential to prevent occupational diseases caused by repetitive efforts or poor posture. These diseases are known internationally with the acronym in English CTD (Traumatic Accumulative Disorder) and RSI (Repetitive Effort Damage).
2. Relief from stress
The routine of work, with its urgent commitments, deadlines and accumulation of functions, is one of the main causes of stress.
The work gymnastics, for being a pause and a stimulus for the organism, helps to alleviate stress symptoms such as anxiety.
With a series of simple exercises the employee acquires more energy to work, feels more willing, increases their resistance and manages to maintain the feeling of well-being for longer.
4. Interpersonal relationships
Coexistence with colleagues and interpersonal relationships are also advantages of work gymnastics, says Oliveira. The participation of employees can also be useful to reduce shyness and consolidate bonds of friendship.
5. Reduction of expenses
If an employee becomes ill due to the lack of an ergonomic environment, the cost of a possible compensation for negligence is much more expensive than investing in daily work gymnastics, says the specialist. It is, therefore, a prevention that also protects the cash of the company.
How to implement work gymnastics in your company
First of all we must demystify the idea that work gymnastics is something complex, that demands a lot of time and a specific structure. “There are several elongation exercises that employees can do sitting in their own workplace,” explains Oliveira.
To start a work gym program in your company, the recommendation is that you hire a physical education professional specialized in ergonomics. Other specialists who can develop a proper exercise routine are a work physician or a safety technician.
To conclude, Oliveira indicates that the ideal length and regularity for the exercises are three daily series of ten to fifteen minutes. With all this information, there are no excuses for not adopting work gymnastics in your company.