Advertising
Advertising

15 Simple And Quick Office Stretches To Boost Work Efficiency

15 Simple And Quick Office Stretches To Boost Work Efficiency

If you work in an office, the chances are you’re spending a minimum of 8 hours sitting down – that’s 40 hours a week.

I mean, think about it. You might drive to work, sit down at your desk for at least 6 hours at work, drive home, and sit down to watch TV or read a book. Am I right?

And if you think that’s without it’s health risks, you’d be seriously mistaken. So next time you’re feeling a bit fidgety or you’re on your lunch break, try these 15 office stretching exercises. They’re simple, quick AND they’ll give you that energetic boost you need to increase your productivity – it’s a win-win situation!

1. Neck & Shoulders

Office Shoulder Stretch

    Hunching over your desk can strain the cervical spine and stiffen our shoulders. Try reaching your arms behind you, interlocking your fingers and lifting you arms. You should feel this stretch in your chest and shoulders.

    2. ‘Cow’ & ‘Cat’ Pose

    Cow and Cat Yoga Pose

      This is a yoga pose which aligns your spine and helps to improve extension and flexion in your back. Start on all fours (if you can find an empty space) and switch between arching your back like a cat and lifting your head and tailbone towards the ceiling.

      Advertising

      3. Back of the Legs

      Office Leg Stretch

        If you don’t sit properly (and let’s be honest a lot of use don’t) you could be reducing the ability for blood to circulate properly, especially in your legs. Remaining seated, extend your legs and reach down towards your toes.

        4. Overhead Stretch

        Office Stretch

          This one should be easy, as it’s a natural stretch that we all do when we’re feeling a bit stiff and tired. Simply raise your arms above your head, interlock your fingers and push away from yourself. Feeling better yet?

          5. Wrist Stretch

          wriststretchdesk

            This one’s for those of you who spend all day typing! Simply stand up and place your wrists on the desk so they face away from you, and apply pressure until you feel the stretch. Hold for a few seconds, and then follow with some wrist circles.

            6. Thighs, Flexibility & Balance

            Advertising

            xblack_dress_pant_yoga_pants_9.jpg.pagespeed.ic._TZX6z7B9x

              When you spend all day sitting down, you lose a lot of your mobility and balance. Using the desk for support, stand up and raise your leg behind you, grabbing hold of the ankle (or your shin if you cant quite reach). Lift the leg as high as you can keeping your knee bent at a right angle. Hold for a few seconds then repeat on the other leg.

              7. Single Leg Squat

              Single Leg Squat

                Start by standing tall on one leg with your other leg extended out in front of you. Slowly lower yourself into a seated squat position. Repeat and remember to swap sides!

                8. Low Lunges

                Low Lunge

                  You should feel this one in the front of your hip. Start on your knees, then bring one of your legs forward so your knee is at a right angle. Stretch your other leg back with your shin (or knee) on the floor, then lean forwards ever so slightly to feel the stretch (if you don’t already!).

                  9. Stress Ball Squeeze

                  Stress ball squeeze

                    An oldie, but a good way to improve productivity (and bust stress!). It’s also a good way to get movability your hands and forearms.

                    Advertising

                    10. Eagle Arm Twist

                    Office Back Stretches

                      Stay seated and extend your arms in front of you at shoulder level. Cross your right arm over your left, raise your forearms and twist your palms inwards. Hold, and then repeat with your left arm over your right.

                      11. Forward Bend

                      Forward bend

                        Stand several feet behind your chair. Raise both arms overheard and ‘hinge’ forward from your hips, keeping your back straight. Hold on to the back of the chair to keep steady for a few second, then rise back up to stand straight.

                        12. Standing Leg Raises

                        Leg Raise

                          Start by holding onto the back of your chair (be careful if it has wheels!). Lean forward slightly and stick your butt out and hold your tummy in while kicking alternate legs towards the ceiling and lowering back down again with control. This will not only help to strengthen the leg muscles (which waste away when sitting), but also help lengthen the back.

                          13. Seated Hip Stretch

                          Advertising

                          seated hip stretch

                            Sit towards the middle of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place one ankle on the opposite knee and sit tall. Maintaining a straight back, tilt forward at the waist until you feel the stretch.

                            14. Spinal Twist

                            Seated Twist

                              Keeping seated with your knees in line with one another, place your left hand on your right knee and twist your entire upper body to the right, looking behind your shoulder. Hold, then twist back and repeat on the other side. This keeps your spine flexible.

                              15. …Now You’re a Pro Do This!

                              Office Yoga

                                It’s okay, you don’t really have to do this – and quite frankly I don’t even know how that’s humanly possible! It does look impressive though…

                                Featured photo credit: Alisa Matthews via flickr.com

                                More by this author

                                Hong Kong Sunset World’s 10 Best Destinations To Travel Alone 10 Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Fireworks On Your iPhone 14 Cleaning Hacks That Will Save You Time (And Money!) Essential Car Care Tips You Need to Know for Winter 10 Social Media Marketing Tools To Boost Traffic

                                Trending in Productivity

                                1 How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential 2 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity 3 How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck 4 How to Use Sticky Notes for More Productive Reading And Learning 5 How to Lead Team Meetings in the Most Productive Way

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on March 15, 2019

                                How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                                How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                                When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

                                Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

                                In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

                                What Makes a Leader Fail?

                                A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

                                If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

                                And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

                                What Is Effective Leadership?

                                Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

                                Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

                                Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

                                Advertising

                                “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

                                How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

                                To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

                                1. Courage

                                The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

                                “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

                                Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

                                For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

                                In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

                                It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

                                Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

                                Advertising

                                2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

                                If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

                                The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

                                To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

                                3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

                                Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

                                Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

                                4. Likability

                                Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

                                When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

                                Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

                                So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

                                Advertising

                                5. Vulnerability

                                Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

                                When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

                                6. Authenticity

                                Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

                                Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

                                7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

                                Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

                                Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

                                Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

                                Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

                                As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

                                Advertising

                                “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

                                8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

                                Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

                                This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

                                9. A Passion for Continual Learning

                                Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

                                These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

                                Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

                                The Bottom Line

                                No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

                                Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

                                More Resources About Effective Leadership

                                Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

                                Read Next