Managing Workplace Stress: Advice From a Personal Trainer

Managing Workplace Stress: Advice From a Personal Trainer
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About the Expert

David Hansey is a board certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). He spent 15 years in the Army and Marine Corps training soldiers for combat. He also holds an advanced certification through the NASM as a Performance Enhancement Specialist. He has clients of all ages and goals, including weight management, rehabilitation and sports training. Learn more about David at his website,

Interview with the Expert

Bright Hub: More and more people are working in offices today. This presents unique challenges, both physical and mental. Many people complain of muscle tension, headaches, and other physical ailments. As a personal trainer, what do you recommend to your clients who experience such issues?

David Hansey: I suggest that people get up and walk around whenever they can. Some jobs make that not practical but others do so consider whether you could get up and say something to your co-worker down the hall rather than text them or send them an email.

Also you should discuss headaches with your doctor and your eye doctor. And you should try to fit some activity into your work day even if it is just using the stairs or a quick brisk walk at lunch.

Bright Hub: What are the unique physical challenges faced by office workers?

David Hansey: Sitting at a desk for hours causes your body to naturally slump forward and to round your shoulders. This can lead to many aches and pains. Looking at a computer screen can cause strain not only from your eyes but also from the angle or improper layout of your workstation.

Bright Hub: Exercise has been proven to have a positive effect on one’s mood and stress level. Office workers commonly complain of fatigue, anxiety, irritability, trouble concentrating and sleeping, and lack of focus and motivation. What tips would you offer a client (for use in the office) for relieving these types of complaints?

David Hansey: Any activity is great. It really depends on your job and workplace. Do you have a door on your office? Maybe consider some stretching during your lunch break. Everyone should consider walking at lunch as a great way to relieve tension and increase activity.

Bright Hub: Can a regular exercise regimen (outside of work) help to relieve the physical effects of office work?

David Hansey: A regular exercise program that is CUSTOMIZED to your needs can do wonders to relieve the effects of sitting and office work. Any activity is a good thing but it is important to remember that anything custom is always better so considering a couple of personal training sessions is always a good idea.

Bright Hub: What if it’s hard to find time to exercise? How would you advise your client to “squeeze it in” while working a fulltime job?

David Hansey: First, be honest. Is there really no time? Do you watch a lot of TV after work? Could you cut back on that or watch it from the treadmill? Could you do more on the weekends so you could do shorter workouts some days? I have yet to meet someone who has no time for anything all week long.

Bright Hub: Final thoughts or advice for people dealing with negative physical and mental effects of a desk job?

David Hansey: People working at desks have to pay special attention that they are getting some activity. If you are not sure, wear a pedometer for a few days and consider that 10,000 steps is a good daily goal for most people. This can help you get honest with what you are really doing.