We all know that exercise is essential to our health. Physical exercise can reduce your risk of disease, decrease your risk of heart attack, lower your blood pressure, manage your weight, and even boost your mood. Health professionals suggest that we aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to reap the benefits.
But let’s face the truth – working in a dental office can be very busy. Sometimes it can be difficult to find time to complete all of your work and still find time to exercise too. But here’s the good news – you don’t have to do half an hour of exercise all at once! There are mini exercises that you can do throughout your day to stay healthy!
As a dental professional, you’re working in a slumped position for a good portion of your day. Unfortunately, leaning over to work in your client’s mouth all day long can take a toll on your body. For this reason, it’s important to stretch regularly. Be sure to stretch your back muscles, as well as your shoulders, arms, and legs.
Yes, stretches can take time, but you can divide your stretches out throughout the day. Aim to do 2-3 stretches in between each client. By the end of the day, you’ll be feeling loose and limber!
Many studies have shown that there is a prevalence of back pain among dentists. Considering they spend much of their day with their back hunched, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. But you don’t have to live with the pain. Regular back exercises throughout your day can help to ease the pain.
Many back exercises require you to lie on the ground. But if you work as a dental professional, this probably isn’t possible at work. Luckily, there are some standing back exercises you can do too.
Try this one:
Stand with the side of one foot against the wall and spread your feet slightly further than hip-distance apart. Reach your hands overhead. Reach your hands over to touch the wall to give yourself a nice side stretch. Hold for 30 seconds or more, and then switch sides.
You can add these into your stretch routine, aiming for one backstretch in between each client.
Walking or Running
One of the best things that you can do for your health is to get your heart rate up. Walking and running are great way to do this. Of course, you can’t run on the spot while you’re working on a client. But break times and lunchtime are a great chance to get out for a quick walk or run. Enlist a co-worker to go with you each day to keep you motivated.
Hand, wrist, and arm exercises
Exercising isn’t all about the larger muscle groups. Sometimes we need to focus on the smaller ones too. And as dental professionals, we do a lot of work with our hands. Your fingers, hands, and arms are bent in positions for long periods of time. Over the years, this hard work can take its toll. For this reason, it’s important that we give our hands, arms, and fingers a little workout throughout the day.
Add some quick finger, hand, and arm stretches to your routine during each bathroom break. They only take a few seconds but could prevent a great deal of pain in your hands as the year’s progress.
And remember, physical exercise doesn’t have to be intense to make a difference. There are little things you can do throughout your day to help improve your health. Choose the furthest parking spot, take the stairs, march on the spot during morning meetings – it all matters!