Moms at Work: Office Exercises During Pregnancy

Exercising has been proven to be beneficial for pregnant moms as their body and health requirements change. Studies recommend a healthy dose of light to moderate exercise at least thirty minutes a day for pregnant women.

For most pregnant working moms though who sit at an office for at least eight hours a day, finding the time, energy, and will to exercise can be quite challenging. Believe it or not, light and simple exercises can be performed within your workspace. They may help with your labor and alleviate pregnancy discomforts such as back pains, which may be worsened by sitting for long periods of time at work. Stay active and be comfortable with the following exercises: 

Walking

  • Pregnant women can still maintain cardiovascular fitness through walking

  • For every hour you sit at your desk, stand up and do a short walk (five minutes at the maximum).

  • Find small ways to incorporate walking into your office routine. Instead of phoning for take-out or asking someone to buy for you, take a short walk and buy your lunch. You can also stand up to speak to your colleague instead of sending out an email.

  • Make sure you are wearing supportive footwear and walking on level ground to reduce risk of falling. 

Stretching

  • Regular stretching improves flexibility, strength, and reduces lower back pain.

  • While at your desk, you can stretch your upper body, most especially your back.

  • Stretch both arms up over your head with palms together, and hold for about twenty seconds. You may also bring your arms back to stretch your chest.

  • When stretching, make sure to be cautious and stretch gently. 

Pelvic Floor Exercises

  • This type of exercise helps strengthen the pelvic muscles, which come under great stress during childbirth.

  • Also known as Kegels exercises, these can be performed anywhere, including the office. Sit in your office chair with good posture.

  • Exhale and tighten your pelvic floor muscles (these are the ones that stop urination midstream). Hold for count of five to ten, then release. Repeat ten times. 

Make sure to get clearance from your OB-gyne before exercising or joining any fitness program. Factors such as a medical condition or a high-risk pregnancy can prevent you from performing certain activities. Regardless, aim to stay healthy and active, especially when spending long periods of time in the office. As a mom-to-be, do everything you can for your health and that of the baby's. Let’s get fit, moms! 

Sources:
http://www.tamc.amedd.army.mil/offices/obgyn/Exercise%20during%20Pregnancy.htm
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-exercise.aspx
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-at-your-desk
http://www.livestrong.com/article/548005-office-exercises-for-pregnancy/