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Active Working Tips – Easy Desk Exercises!

Posted on 24th April 2017 by

This Friday, Active Working are encouraging office workers to sit less and move more, with their initiative ‘On Your Feet Britain‘!

Every day this week, in the lead up to On Your Feet Britain, we will be sharing some top tips for you to try in your workplace.

Why sit less and move more?

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests excessive and prolonged sitting (irrespective of your level of physical activity) can lead to increased risks of:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes (T2)
  • Mental Health
  • Cancers
  • Backache
  • Thrombosis
  • Obesity
  • Muscle degeneration

So, today, here’s some simple exercises you can get up and do at your desk to break up your sitting time and re-energise your body! Don’t worry about your colleagues questioning what you’re doing, get them to join in too!

Wall Press Desk Exercise

Sit Stretch Desk Exercise

Leg Up desk exercise

Perfect Posture desk exercise

Chair twist desk exercise

Chest stretch desk exercise

You could even download the exercises as a screensaver at work here!

Read more……

Looking after yourself when working from home

On Your Feet Britain 2017

Is standing the new sitting?

#SitLess #MoveMore

On Your Feet Britain!

Posted on 21st April 2017 by

This time next week, On Your Feet Britain are challenging the nation to get On Your Feet. This is the third national day, when 1 million workers across Britain will be encouraged and challenged to sit less & move more.On Your Feet Britain

Awareness of the “Sitting Disease” has rocketed up in recent years. Standing desks are certainly becoming more commonplace, in fact our offices at goPhysio have 2 standing desk work stations.

Is it time your workplace joined in the fun event to take James Brown at his word?

Join 1 million office workers #SitLess and #MoveMore by signing up your workplace to this free event and see a different aspect of your colleagues.

Here’s some ideas to get you moving

  • Here’s a thought, instead of emailing the person opposite, do something revolutionary – walk over & talk face to face. It’s a good way to do business & it’ll do you good.
  • Ditch your usual lunch ‘al desko’ and take a stroll outside. You’ll get a spring in your step and feel better for it.
  • Make phone calls standing up. You’ll feel more confident and burn more calories than sitting.
  • Run a lunchtime fitness workshop, class or guided walk.
  • Add a walking meeting to your day.
  • Have 1 less chair at a meeting. With every change in the agenda item, move around and swap who stands.
  • Walk to work or get off the bus a few stops early.
  • Set a timer or reminder to break up prolonged periods of time on the computer to remind you to stand up & move about regularly.
  • Drink more water – you’ll have no choice but to get up regularly to visit the loo!

Why not take it on as an office challenge & free yourself from the office chair for the day. Find fun & easy ideas online to take part.

So Friday 28th April 2017 is your chance to get the ball rolling and encourage your employees and colleagues to take a stand. Team up with colleagues and see how much “sitting time” you can reduce on the day.

Sign up today at

Read more: Is standing the new sitting?

#SitLess #MoveMore

Active Working 2017


Technology Pains

Posted on 23rd December 2016 by

With consumers set to shell out billions of pounds on gadgets such as smart phones, tablets and games consoles this this Christmas, how do you make sure your gift doesn’t turn into a pain in the neck?

Technology has revolutionised every aspect of modern life from how we communicate to how we do our shopping. However recent research has suggested we now spend as long as 5-8hours a day on our smart phones and tablets! These devices are designed mainly with portability in mind so many of us will be familiar with the stiff thumbs from tapping away on games consoles, the burning neck pain from looking down at your ipad for a couple hours and the achy back from curling up on your sofa with your laptop on your knees.

Here our top 3 tips to avoid these pains

  1. Limit technology time – set some simple boundaries like no gadgets at the dining table, switching off an hour before bed or no more than an hour at a time in front of a screen. Think about what you’re actually going online for – to complete a certain task or just as a distraction?
  2. Think about your posture – your head is the heaviest part of your body so looking down at a tablet for hours on end is sure to give you a sore neck. Instead try a laptop or tablet stand, ideally with an external keyboard to bring your screen up to eye level. For smart phones straighten your back and hold the phone higher.
  3. Stretch out after use – if you’ve over done it stretch out your neck muscles by gently rotating your head left and right and tilting it side to side several times, roll your shoulders and rotate your trunk left and right too. Use a heat pack or microwavable wheat bag to ease the tension and pain.

technology pain

5 Tips for Working at your laptop pain-free

Posted on 9th November 2016 by

Flexible working, working on the move, working from home and the advances in technology mean that more and more people use a laptop for their work. But ergonomically, laptops aren’t great for working on and overtime can cause issues.

So, here’s a few tips to help keep back, neck, shoulder and arm pain at bay.

  1. Use a laptop riser. There are multiple types available varying from small and inexpensive to large and more expensive. This will allow you to adjust your screen height to the correct level preventing back and neck pain.
  2. Get a separate keyboard. This will allow you to have your screen at the correct height without compromising on optimal keyboard level. A wireless keyboard is often a better option as it avoids being restrictive due to cables.
  3. Work at an adjustable desk allowing you to sit or stand. Recently, there have been desk risers released which sit on top of a normal desk, are height adjustable themselves and have separate spaces for both your keyboard and mouse, and laptop enabling correct posture when using all equipment.
  4. Posture – sitting and standing upright while looking straight ahead will reduce the risk of back and neck injuries which arise from prolonged periods of poor posture.
  5. Try using the keyboard and its shortcuts more than the tracker pad or mouse. This will reduce the risk of overuse injury to your shoulder and arm.

Lap top ergonomics

‘Shake Up September’ Workplace Challenge

Posted on 5th September 2016 by

Shake Up September Workplace Challenge

Companies and organisations across the UK are invited to take part in the ‘Workplace Challenge’ this month, in a campaign named ‘Shake Up September’. The aim of the programme is to promote sport, physical activity and health improvements across the UK’s workplaces.

With both the Olympics & Paralympics fresh in people’s minds, the Workplace Challenge aims to encourage employees to bring physical activity into the workplace by trying out as many Olympic or Paralympic sports as possible throughout this month.

Why get active in the workplace? 

We spend up to 60% of our waking hours at work and an estimated 40 per cent of people do not exercise enough, according to Public Health England. To help combat the issue, Workplace Challenge, seeks to inspire businesses and encourage workers to get active in and around the working day.

Inspired by Team GB, workers are being urged to sign up to Workplace Challenge for free and try at least five different sports throughout ‘Shake Up September’. The more activities they log via the Workplace Challenge website or mobile app, the more points they will earn for their workplace as they go for gold on a national challenge leaderboard – with prizes on offer for winning individuals and workplaces, plus spot prizes available for those who get active and get involved with the challenge.

County Sports Partnerships across England will also be running local events and activities, as well as offering a host of online offers with local businesses and National Governing Bodies covering a wide range of sports.

Research has shown that physical activity can boost morale, communication, lift team spirit, increase productivity and reduce the number of sickness absence days taken. From our point of view, being active in the workplace can really help prevent and minimise any work related injuries such as back pain, neck pain and overuse injuries or repetitive strains.

The site also has some great resources and ideas for helping encourage activity in the workplace, such as the Flexible Lunch Break Manifesto.

So, download your Sports Bingo card, sign up and get active!


Road Safety Week

Posted on 18th November 2015 by

The message this year is to drive less and live more.

Need to go the shop for a few bits for the tea. Do you really need the car or would it be as quick to walk? You’ll probably spend most of your journey looking for a parking space when you do eventually reach your destination.

Leaving the car at home for a day will only help improve the environment by reducing on toxins released from motor vehicles.

By taking the train or the bus to work, we can all make our roads safer. It would mean less traffic, speeding up the daily commute which I think we would all agree is a major benefit.

Walking and cycling also gives the extra benefit of stretching our legs and getting some regular exercise. Even a short walk from the bus-stop to our place of work is sufficient to raise the heart rate and improve circulation. This way we can build exercise into our daily routine without feeling the need to find more time in our already busy days to undertake formal exercise, like going to the gym.

So let’s try leaving the car at home for short journeys and walking or cycling instead. You might even feel better for it!

Is Standing the New Sitting? goPhysio Investigate

Posted on 19th September 2014 by

Standing desks are very common in the USA, but haven’t really caught on yet over here yet in a big way. Recent studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle is now one of the highest risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers. Another study suggested that sitting for prolonged periods is as dangerous as smoking is for your health. So should we be standing more?

What are the benefits of standing?
• Better posture
• Reduced low back pain
• Reduced risk of serious health issues
• Reduced risk of obesity
• Higher productivity levels

Standing desks are exactly what they sound like – a higher level desk that allows you to stand whilst you are working. They come in all shapes and sizes – some are a fixed height, while others use hydraulics to switch between a standing and sitting desk. However, you don’t need to buy an expensive desk – a patient of mine has constructed his own with a section of worktop from Ikea!

There are some great, cost effective DIY standing desk ideas on Lifehacker & Ikea Hackers.

A couple of our patients now use standing desks. They have feedback that:
• More energy
• Increased productivity
• Reduced pain – low back and sciatic nerve irritation
• More active round the office

• Can’t do all tasks standing
• Sore feet (he had to go out & buy new shoes!)
• Achey legs

If standing doesn’t appeal to you, there are still plenty of things that you can do to help improve your posture at work.

  • Research has shown getting up and standing just for 1-2 minutes every 20 minutes is beneficial. It allows the major back and leg muscles to contract, helping with blood flow. It also prompts the body to burn more calories, which is a nice bonus!
  • Using an ‘active’ chair could also be an option – saddle seats and gym balls make excellent chairs and encourage to sit in a much better posture.
  • Rearranging your desk layout can also help – make sure you aren’t over-reaching for your keyboard and mouse, that your screen is at the correct height and if you use a laptop, consider getting a docking station or stand to improve the angle.

Standing desks might not be for everyone, but the benefits of being more active are worth making the effort to spend at least some of your day up and moving!

We’d love to see your standing desks and hear your thoughts if you’re already using one – pop us an email with a photo and let us know how you’re getting on!

Increasing Your Activity With Technology

Posted on 16th May 2014 by

Following on from our last blog – The Magic 10,000 steps – I thought it would be useful to write a Activity Trackers goPhysiolittle piece about how to actually monitor your daily activity.

The most simple way of monitoring how many steps you take a day (and therefore how active you are) is a pedometer. You can pick up a basic pedometer for under £5 (as cheap as 65p) and the function is to count how many steps you are taking by measuring the motion of your hips. Reliability will vary – but these devices will certainly give an indication of your step number.

As with everything now, technology has progressed significantly and there has been a surge in the last couple of years of ‘Activity Monitors’.

Did you know by the way, that there are now more mobile connective devices on the planet than people – scary!

The main ones currently on the market include the Jawbone Up, FitBit, Nike Fuelband, Garmin VivoFit to name a few.

Research has indicated that even the most basic devices can help increase activity levels.

I have owned a FitBit for some time now and I can honestly say it was a significant turning point for me in increasing my general activity levels and changing my lifestyle.

Basically, what the FitBit (and other activity bands) do, is similar to a glorified pedometer. But it goes way beyond that. They can also measure:

  • Sleep patterns
  • Calories
  • Distance
  • Heart rate
  • Activity intensity

Each brand of device measures a different combination of measurements and they can also be integrated with other apps such as My Fitness Pal or Garmin Connect. So, if you’re looking to buy an activity monitor, it’s worth doing some research into what factors are most important to you.

This sort of thing suits me – I like a challenge, I like numbers (and measurements!) & I like to have a goal. So I found the FitBit really motivated me.

More recently, I purchased a Garmin VivioFit (not that I was unhappy with my FitBit, but a kind friend of mine works at Garmin!). So, what follows is my personal experience of using these 2 devices.


I have the FitBit Flex.

The Pros

  • Syncing is easy, basically open the app on my iPhone, make sure the FitBit is nearby and it syncs.
  • I love the ‘Active Minutes’ figure. You can read more about this here, but basically it measure how many minutes a day you are ‘very active’ – a good tool to measure against the recommended 30 minutes/day.
  • You can set alarms. The wristband buzzes gently, a nice way to be woken up or reminded of something. These are set on your app or web based dashboard.
  • The buzz it gives you when you reach your goal.
  • The scales – measure & track your weight and % body fat and sync automatically.
  • The dashboard & app are really easy to use and interpret.

The Cons

  • My wrist band has broken once (although FitBit did send a free replacement). I have heard of others breaking too.
  • Having to charge it up – it doesn’t take long but is annoying having to take it off not charge.
  • Minimal band information. You only get illuminated dots on the band, so need to check your app for further info. There is due to be a FitBit Force released which will display more info on the wrist band, but no UK date as yet as far as I’m aware.

The Garmin VivoFit

The Pros

  • You can see the time, steps, calories etc. all on a clear digital display on the wristband.
  • You don’t have to charge it – it comes with a 1 year battery apparently.
  • It adjusts your goals according to your activity – always pushing you a bit!
  • You can sync it automatically with a Garmin heart rate monitor.

The Cons

  • Syncing takes a little longer and isn’t automatic – you have to press a button on the device.
  • Straps aren’t interchangeable, i.e. you buy the device in 1 colour and ca’t change the strap.
  • It doesn’t monitor ‘very active minutes’.
  • No compatible scales/body fat monitor that I’m aware of.

Both have bits I really like and also not so keen on (but nothing’s perfect!). For now, I’m veering towards the Garmin, mainly due to the display and not having to charge the battery!

You can read full reviews of the many activity trackers online – there’s loads of them, here’s just a few I found, The Wire Cutter, PC Mag – although it’s work noting a few of these were written prior to the release of the Garmin VivoFit.

There’s no doubt that such devices are in their infancy, who know’s what we’ll be wearing or writing about in a year’s time. They’re no longer purely the domain of ‘techy’s’, wearable technology is set to become a part of everyone life!

Written by Fiona, goPhysio’s Non-Clinical Director (all views are her own)

The Magic of 10,000 Steps per Day

Posted on 16th May 2014 by

10,000 – the magic number of recommended steps we need to do every day! But why and where has this come from?

Originally, the magic ‘10,000 steps a day concept’ was created in Japan back in the 1960s. A team of Japanese researchers worked out that the average person took 3,000 – 5,000 steps per day. However, if they were to increase their steps to 10,000 steps per day, the potential result would be healthier, thinner people! This number wasn’t based on medical research, however, since then much research has been carried out and this seems to be the figure the NHS, WHO and other organisations have promoted to be the number of steps we should try and take every day to help improve our health and reduce the risk of many diseases.

10,000 steps equates to approximately 5 miles

10,000 steps roughly equates to 30 minutes of ‘activity’

In the UK, the NHS has published guidelines for the minimum activity levels we should aim for every day to maintain & improve our health. This includes 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity 5 days a week – brisk walking can be an integral part of this.

What can 10,000 steps help with?

  •  Improving overall health
  • Decreasing risk of heart disease
  • Reducing body fat % and helping weight loss
  • Decreasing risk of type II diabetes
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Reducing stress

What’s good about 10,000 is that 10,000 steps a day is a realistic goal that is achievable by people of all shapes, sizes and ages. It isn’t really a magic number but a good guideline that matches activity expectations to meet recommended activity levels.

You’d be surprised how much you probably overestimate how many steps a day you actually do. Most people living a ‘normally’ active day will only do between 3,000 – 5,000 steps! So, reaching 10,000 does require some lifestyle changes and it will take some extra effort.

How do you know if you’ve reached 10,000? – More on that next time!