Monday, April 28, 2014

Exercising At The Office

From the dawn of evolution, people were built to move around, not to spend their whole lives sitting at a desk. It doesn’t matter how ergonomically friendly your office furniture is, the fact is that prolonged sitting results in sore backs, headaches, and a general feeling of sluggishness. Then, of course, there’s the problem of weight gain when a person has a basically sedentary lifestyle. You need to exercise, but there’s the time factor. If you’re so busy with work that family life takes a back seat, as it does for many modern workers, where are you going to find the time to exercise?

Believe it or not, you could actually squeeze in a little exercise at work. Take a break from time to time and try these easy, fun office exercises.

Hip Hike

The adult worker probably doesn’t exist who hasn’t had at least one episode of pain in the area of the lower back over the course of their work history. This is an easy exercise that you can do without even leaving your office chair, and it’s very effective in easing lower back pain. Start by sitting up straight – imagine that there’s a string attached to the top of your head and it’s pulling you toward the ceiling. Now, lift your left butt-cheek up until it’s as close to being off the seat of the chair as you can get it without actually standing up. Now return it to the chair. Do the same with your right butt-cheek. Go back to the left, and get a sort of “rocking” motion going, from cheek to cheek. Do this for about thirty seconds at a time.

Office Chair Squat

Office Chair Squat

This is a very simple exercise, but it’s also one of the most effective for overall body strengthening. Start by standing as tall as you can – again, imagine that string attached to your head that’s pulling you upward. Relax your shoulders, and lift up your toes so that they’re touching the inside tops of your shoes. This centers your feet, and will help you to be sure that you’re doing the squat properly. Now, with your back straight, lower your butt until it’s about an inch away from the seat of the office chair. Try to hold this position for ten seconds. Remember, it’s important to keep your knees behind the toes so that you don’t cause undue stress to your knee joints. The muscles in your butt are what you’ll use to get your body back to its original standing position.

Rule #18 - LIMBER UP

Victory Stretch

When you’re sitting at a desk for hours, your posture often suffers. This exercise will improve your posture and it’s also great for the inner core. Start by breathing in and sitting up straight. Now, exhale and stretch your spine, trying to make your body seem as tall as you can. Hold the position, and then lean forward. Extend your arms and open your chest, as if you were pushing upward on the ceiling. Rinse and Repeat.

Business Flight

This exercise is very beneficial for the mid-back and the hamstrings, which are the areas that are most often compromised when a person occupies a sedentary position for several hours during the run of the day. Stand up straight – use the “imaginary string” again to pull you into position. Use your hips as you would a hinge, bending over while extending one leg and allowing the other to hold the weight of your body. You’ll want your torso and the extended leg to be parallel with the floor. Hold the position for three seconds, and then go back to your original position. Do this for about a minute on each leg, and then switch legs and repeat the exercise.


It would be ideal if you could build a visit to the gym or at least regular walks into your daily routine. However, if you’re really pressed for time, these easy exercises can be done during quick breaks at work. They will certainly have a profound effect on your physical health and mental clarity, and gear you up for your regional office chair race.

OCOS Web Developer

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Common Courtesy in the Modern Office

"Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you."
It might be thought by some that etiquette is "old school" formality, no longer relevant in modern society. However, living amongst people means that we need to adhere to certain standards of behavior in order to be able to get along with one another, and this is just as true in the workplace as it is anywhere else. There’s plenty of room for individual expression, but there are still certain standards. Here’s a quick guide to how to handle yourself in the workplace.

Keep the Noise Down

Today, most offices are created on the "open plan" concept. This means that there are no offices, and even, most of the time, no cubicles. No one has a door they can close when they need to be able to concentrate without distractions. Try to avoid loud conversations – if you or a co-worker has a tendency to get overly enthusiastic while conversing, take it elsewhere. Even the most open office usually has a meeting room. If there’s no meeting room, take it outside the building.

If you bring a personal cell phone to work, keep it on vibrate and return calls when you’re on break or at lunch. No one wants to hear you sitting at your workstation, exchanging sweet nothings with your significant other, or arguing with your kids. If you absolutely have to take a personal call, go investigate that meeting room, or at least move to a less crowded area. When on business calls, use a handset or headset, never your speakerphone.

Be on Time

If you have an appointment, whether it’s with a client, supplier, or co-worker, be punctual. When you’re late, it’s as if you’re saying to the person you’re meeting with “my time is important but yours is of no consequence.” Simply stated, being late is rude.

Speak Politely

Greet people when you come in to work. Just heading off to your desk without a word implies that you don’t consider your workmates to be worth the moment or two that it takes to exchange greetings. Remember that saying “please” and “thank you” also doesn’t take much effort. And please, even in this day and age when you hear profanity everywhere, don’t use it at work. It’s unprofessional, and some people are still offended by it. Simply put, speak to others the way that you would like to be spoken to.

Observe the Dress Code

Most places of business have a dress code, even if it’s not actually formally defined. If you’re in doubt, look at your co-workers and take your cue from them. Even in office environments where the standards are very relaxed, a few things go without saying – no revealing or low-cut clothing, and make sure that your clothes are clean. Work is also not the place to wear t-shirts bearing controversial images or slogans.

Don’t Interrupt

Your time is not more important than anyone else’s, so if there’s something you need but a co-worker is otherwise engaged, wait your turn. If they’re on the phone, leave a note instead of hovering. If they’re talking with another co-worker, it’s OK to wait for a gap in the conversation to let them know you’d like to see them when they have time.

If You Want to Borrow Something, Ask!

It doesn’t really matter how well you know a co-worker, you don’t have the right to borrow things from their work area without asking. If you show a lack of respect for others’ workspaces, you can’t very well become upset when they do the same with yours. Ask before you borrow, and return whatever your borrowed in the same condition in which you received it. This is particularly important with items like office chairs that people adjust to suit their own needs and preferences.


That’s basic office etiquette. Just remember, it’s mainly about treating people the way you’d like to be treated.

OCOS Web Developer

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