It is a known fact to all that working out relieves stress, and while an hour of aerobics or a few minutes into yoga asana is known to everyone, you cannot just take a yoga mat to the office (sigh). But thanks to the science and discoveries on how the human brain works, there are now various stress relief exercises you can practice at the desk. Yes, without having a built-in gym in your office, you can manage employee stress with simple stress-relieving exercises mentioned in this article. Keep reading to relieve some serious stress.
Disclaimer: you will get productive at work after these stress relief exercises.
The Importance of Stress-Free Work Environment
According to the Mental Health Foundation, on average, each person loses 25 working days because of being overwhelmed with work-related stress. While stress is shown in many ways, most commonly, it is disguised as illness in one way or another. If you are falling sick frequently, having anxiety going back to the office, constant body pain, or some headaches, then chances are you might be prone to work-related stress.
A surprising discovery states that 83% of employees in the USA suffer from work-related stress. This is an alarming number of employees prone to stress; thus, many organizations face hard times, as well as many people fall sick to depression and anxiety.
A stress-free environment is important in a company for many reasons:
- Improved efficiency
- Improved trust in a company
- Less job threat
- Talent acquisition
- Strong company culture
- Less sick days hence more efficiency
While you could be working from home amidst a pandemic, the work-related stress could still get to you. The constant connectivity to work and not being able to go out. But don't worry, you can practice home office exercises and kill the stress in no time.
Benefits of Stress-Reducing Exercises
Although hybrid working is the discovery that enhances productivity by a far greater degree if you are not allowed to have that option, then you cannot just wallow in stress all day and tire your shoulder with that ton of tension. Having a flexible workspace is not about a large space and a place full of music and massage chairs. It is a place that allows employees to work according to their comfort zone. And to make your workplace flexible for you, you need to unclench that jaw, release those shoulders and get rid of those frown lines.
And to help you achieve that, here are some simple stress-reducing exercises you can do. And you don’t even need to get up to do these.
Desk Exercises to Relieve Stress
Nobody likes to get up from their desk and be noticed while doing all the stretches. Sure, if your adjustable standing desk is in the corner cabin (lucky for you), then you can practice standing desk exercises without any worry. The standing desk exercises are most effective and can drain stress in a matter of seconds.
As simple as it could get. Stand a few feet away from your desk and do desk push-ups as you would do a normal wall push-up. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart, and you lower your body until your elbows are bent, then straighten them back all the way. This will relax your shoulders and eliminate the built-up tension in your shoulders from all day.
People who do type-type all day or work on desktops are likely to have sore arms. Arm rotation is the way to refresh your arms' blood flow and reduce the built-up tension in muscles. It is a good stress-reducing exercise. Spread your arms on either side like wings and rotate them in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction making mid-sized circles.
Those slouched shoulders in front of computers are the worst part at the end of the day. Don’t give in to the desk stress and get your shoulders stretched once in a while. Clasp your hands together and pull them away from your body straight upwards as trying to touch the sky.
Seated Cat and Cow
Yogis know the benefits of cat and cow pose, and to get stability in your breathing, there is no better stress relief exercise than this. Sit and place your hands on your knees; as you arch your back, try to bring your shoulders back by squeezing them together and push your chest out. Inhale as you do so, then exhale as you round the spine and curl your chin towards your chest. You will feel a nice deep stretch in your shoulder, spine, and back.
Neck Swings are the best way to release the upheld tension in your neck muscles. Do this by swinging your neck from side to side at least ten times. You will feel a sudden relaxation in your neck. And bonus? You can do it as many times as you like but don't overdo it.
Twisting your spine is like resetting your entire body. Sit straight and keep your leg straight. Try to twist your upper body along towards each side without moving your legs. The twist in the waist mill makes your spine relax. Repeat it on either side.
Wrist and Forearm Stretch
This is one of the best stress relief exercises. You may not be paying attention to your wrists, but it comes to typing, wrists are the most stressed muscles throughout the day. Extend your forearms and start by pulling your fingers in the opposite direction of your arms stretch. This will release all the stress. Hold it in the same position for at least 20 seconds, then repeat for the other hand.
Bonus Ways to Reduce Stress
When others are out for lunch, and you are done with your snacking, how about a little time with yourself. A 3-minute intense meditation, a good stress relief exercise, can be beneficial even if you do not have an hour. Sit on your chair with both legs crossed over each other and place your hands on either knee. Close your eyes and inhale a deep breath. As you inhale, try sending your mind to a peaceful place. Return to exhale. Continue this for various breaths and notice the difference.
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