Given Dubai's young and bustling market, always on the go to achieve their goals in this dynamic landscape, Deliveroo for Business has partnered with ergonomics expert Dr.Tamara Ghazi to share her insight on the importance of being healthy at your desk and what professionals of all ages can do while at work in terms of postures, movements and food intake to ensure sustainable health and better productivity everyday.
Dr Tamara is the founder and medical director of Diversified Integrated Sports Clinic (DISC), 3 state of the art integrated preventative sports medicine centers in Dubai and Kuwait city.
Speaking about the partnership, the co-founder of D.I.S.C stated, " Our work environments have become consumed by technology, which has many perks, but the downfalls fall on our bodies. Sitting for long periods strains our posture due to not activating our muscles, and compresses the spine! When we are focusing on screens, our heads come forward, shoulders round, slouching/sliding down in chair or leaning forward over keyboards to get closer to the screen which puts a lot of strain on the neck. We tend to lean to one side and compress the spine on the other side which creates imbalances."
- Get up every hour, get a glass of water, stretch, walk down the hallway.
- Deep belly breathing (by expanding the chest and abdomen) as it helps restore diaphragmatic movement (your main breathing muscle under your lungs) and takes the pressure off the neck (secondary breathing muscles) which tend to take over when we are stressed and end up overworking causing neck and shoulder tension and stiffness.
- Focusing on the inhale and exhale brings you back to the present! Movement helps blood circulation, giving your mind a break from drifting off to other thought and helps focus.
- Getting up also helps rest your eye muscles from the screen. Try to be mindful of taking this time to not be locked on your phone screen either. Just be present and mindful of your environment.
- The most important thing is to keep all essentials within reach! Clear out your work station as often as possible and keep only what you regularly use around you. if you have to regularly twist, try to turn your whole body rather than twisting over the spine, or stand up and walk around your chair.
- Healthy snacking is also a good energy boost, and it is best to choose non-processed foods with low glycemic index that don't give you a temporary sugar spike! Some foods that are healthy and easy to eat at work, that are also available on Deliveroo are :
- Aloka Signature Poke from Poke & Co.
- Salad and Soups Combo from Richy's Special
- Yoga Bowl from Little Earth
- Spinach Tortilla and Chicken Wrap from Healthy and Yummy Zone.
- Try choosing carb options like boiled rice or potatoes, which will make you feel more satiated and for longer, rather than pasta or bread, the latter of which will make you feel more bloated and more prone to sugar cravings. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for fruit cups, acai bowls. if you are a fan of smoothies, drinking your lunch, remember to be aware of what is in your drink! Some coffee blends and smoothies contain high sugars/ additives that are extremely calorie dense.
Postures recommended by Tamara:
- Sit on your pelvic sit bones, such that the lowest part of your back connecting to your lower trunk touches the back of the seat and slightly lean back into your back rest so that your back to hip ratio is 135 degrees without sliding down.
- Don't lean to one side, try to be symmetrical and have your computer straight in-front of you.
- If you use several computers at once, get a swivel chair so that you can rotate your whole body. Arms should be at 90 degrees and eyes should be at the top of the screen.
- If your screen is too low, elevate it so you are not looking down and get an external keyboard with a comfortable mouse.
- Get a foot stool if you feet don't touch the ground or if you experience low back pain; elevating the feet will take pressure off the low back.
- Wrist, neck and shoulder range of motion exercises, rotating, turning, and twisting from side to side.
- While you are sitting bring the shoulders back so that you squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for seconds and then release. do the same as you shrug your shoulders up to ears, hold and release. isometric contractions are great. squeeze your quads, glutes and core muscles like you are holding everything in together for 5 seconds and release. those exercises wake the muscles up.
- Tilt your pelvis forwards and backwards in a gliding motion like you are going to arch your back and then curve it back the opposite direction. this helps mobilizing the lumbar spine and pelvic girdle.
- Ankle and feet range of motion exercises. If you are a woman who wears high heels, take them off when you are sitting if possible to allow your feet to resume their natural form. You can also work with grip, to activate your foot and your tarsal muscles.
Suggestions to Employers to Make the work space a more ergonomic zone:
- Providing employees with comfortable and adjustable workstations. Chairs that go up and down, back-rests that have flexibility, footstools/ footrests help alleviate back pain a lot, especially in shorter people. adjustable or sit/stand workstations are ideal.
- Removing vending machines with junk/ fast food options. everything is available within reach now-days and its preferable to order in healthier/ lower calorie options that keep one satiated for longer. many restaurants now even list nutrient composition of a meal to allow you in making better choices.
- Providing a movement space/ staff room is also ideal to give staff a space to stretch, have their meals without looking at their computers. focusing on what you eat is very important in preventing over- consumption and mindless eating.
Deliveroo for Business is the company's dedicated service for simple and convenient office catering and corporate food delivery. It was first launched in 2016 after the company noticed a growing demand from working professionals during office hours. The service is currently being used by 7000 companies in 12 markets where with the help of business accounts, employers can create event specific or time based budgets to cater to in office dining needs of their team.