So you’re past that recovery stage where you have to lie in bed all day or do very little movement. You’re slowly going back to your usual routine and if you’re like me, working from home, then that means sitting in front of the computer for hours.
I used to think this has nothing to do with my recovering ankle’s flexibility and stiffness – but I was so wrong! Now, this simple tip of not sitting all day is ONLY applicable if (!) your physiotherapist or doctor had already given you the go signal to do activities. It is not meant for anybody who’s just had their surgery and has been undergoing recovery for just a few weeks or days. But if you’re back to work and thinking your old routine of sitting all day is okay, then stop and take a walk!
Here are two important things you should be doing to avoid sitting all day and to help your ankle’s flexibility and recovery.
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#1 Put Your Desk Up
Nowadays, are becoming more and more common in offices. With so many leading very sedentary lifestyles, people are being encouraged to move more at work. A standing desk is one of the most popular ways to do this. But for those undergoing recovery, this can also help you in keeping that blood flowing in your legs.
I noticed when I started working standing up that I could not work for the same time as I used to work while sitting. I had to move or rest after an hour or so – which is what you should be aiming for, anyway. If you’re interested in trying this one, make sure to take things slow.
Elbows should be at a 90-degree angle to the keyboard. Any posture or situation too uncomfortable can cause stress rather than help in your recovery.
You can also choose a desk or a workstation that works both ways – as a sitting and standing desk. That way you have the option to work sitting down or standing up. Another advantage of having an adjustable desk is that the height can vary based on how you are working – sitting, standing or moving in between. And if you’re still recovering, alternating between sitting and standing work might be the best temporary solution, anyway.
#2 Take Time for Breaks
If you are working in a space that would not allow a standing or adjustable desk, then your second option is to take breaks. Don’t sit for hours (no matter how tempting and comfortable that is!).
Get a timer and set it for every 20-30 minutes. This will indicate that you have to stand up and walk, even if it’s just for a minute, to get the blood flowing.
Then set another timer for every hour to remind you to take longer walks. If you get that blood flowing, you allow more oxygen in your ankles and legs. This prevents your ankle from becoming stiff. You also get your brain running when you take walks! It’s really a win-win situation at work. If walking around is not your thing, then you can do some stretching exercises every 45-60 minutes. You don’t have to hit the gym regularly but these stretching exercises in between work will help your ankle gain more flexibility throughout your recovery.
So if you’re finding yourself having stiff ankles on some days, then take a look at your daily routine.
Check if you spent your days sitting for long hours without any stretching or movement. But remember, this is only for those recovering past their bed rest days. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult with your physiotherapist. Standing or stretching might do more harm than good if you’re still not ready. Take things slow and you’ll have the best recovery for your ankle!
Is your ankle stiff? Here are the exercises ⤵ that will help you make it flexible and strong again.
A great recovery is possible, and an injured ankle doesn’t need to stay stiff and sore forever!
Get access to physiotherapist-approved foot stretching and strengthening exercises to improve your recovery and get back to your favorite activities.