Sitting down for extended periods of time is incredibly bad for our health but, now many of us are working from home or at the very least moving about much less than we normally do, it seems hard to avoid.
To help with this, over the coming weeks as part of our Working from Home series in partnership with Fitbit we’ll be looking at a range of exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress management, and general wellbeing activities to keep your employees and users feeling fresh and energised as you work.
In the next in our series of blogs, here’s some breathing exercises for your staff and users to de-stress and relax while working from home.
Keeping a cool head
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our lives, it can be increasingly hard to keep a cool head. Even before we began working from home and social-distancing, a 2018 study by the Mental Health Foundation showed that 74% of UK adults felt so stressed at some point over the last year, they felt unable to cope – so if you’re feeling like this, you’re not alone.
Why are breathing exercises important?
Your breathing can have a massive effect on your stress-levels and vice versa. When you’re stressed, your breathing speeds up and becomes more shallow – in fact, breathing quickly can actually bring on feelings of stress.² Luckily, it works the other way too.
When you slow your breathing down and make it deeper, you’ll start to feel calmer. Fitbit’s Relax feature uses your heart rate to create personalised guided breathing sessions for you to follow, but the three exercises below can also help if you start feeling overly stressed.
Start with three mouth-only breaths, in and out (imagining you are yawning). Then take three breaths where you inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose. Lastly, do three breaths inhaling and exhaling through your nose only. The initial three yawns will make sure you get a lot of oxygen and, when you switch to your nose-breathing, you’ll start getting nitric oxide which can help you feel relaxed.
This exercise is great for focusing the mind, perfect if you’re feeling a bit anxious. Simply inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for six seconds and then hold for two seconds. Keep repeating this pattern, gradually get slower and slower at counting, and you should start feeling a lot more relaxed.
If you’re still able to go outside for a walk (with appropriate social distancing) as part of your daily exercise, then you can try this one. Sync your inhales and exhales with your steps, inhaling for two steps and exhaling for two steps. After a few rounds of this, switch to inhaling for two steps and exhaling for three. Exhaling for longer will stimulate your vagus nerve which activates your parasympathetic nervous system and helps calm you down.
Find out more
As Fitbit Partners, Complete IT Systems can offer you expert advice on the solutions and how they could be effectively deployed in your business.
To find out more please call us on 01274 396 213 or use our contact form and we’ll arrange a good time to call you back.