5 healthy habits you can start today

The Office Athlete

Happy Birthday to us!

The Office Athlete just turned 5! How exciting and what a 5 years it has been. We are forever growing our client base and helping all types of offices and athletes focus on injury prevention and healthier habits. 2017 is flying by already and we are heading through the first quarter of the year alarmingly fast. We thought to celebrate our 5 wonderful years of putting Physiotherapy goodness out there, we would share our healthy tips to look after yourself from top to toes after you unwind from a busy day from whatever your office may be.

Did you know…

  • your head can weight up to 27kg when you’re looking at your phone?
Neck injury prevention

weight of head is 5.4kg and dramatically increases in weight every cm we look forward and down

So how do we fix this? We still need to text, type, scroll, double tap and live. Moderation is key with everything for a healthier life. Short breaks, postural restoration techniques such as squeezing those shoulder blades together and giving your neck a gentle stretch side to side help reduce that build up of upper trapezius tension from sustained force and strain from your head position.

  •  At the end of the day, we all have to work, or study or travel. All involve sitting. As Mike Reinold ever so brilliantly worded ‘Sitting isn’t that bad for you’. We all have to do it. But how can we enhance it in order to reduce the risk of injury and develop healthier working habits? Sitting all day can’t particularly be avoided in its entirety, but we can reduce the stress and strain as much as possible. Try some of these simple stretches when you’re at home. Use the time waiting for the kettle to boil, the microwave to beep or the compulsory advertisement on YouTube to finish.



Healthy habits and Injury prevention stretching

    Thoracic rotations
Healthy habits and Injury prevention stretching

Back extensions










We really do put our feet through a lot. Prolonged standing, uncomfortable shoes and general long distance walking. Tightnesses and trigger point development through our asymmetrical stances can occur without us even knowing! A fabulous way of combatting these nasties is so simple. Get your hands on a tennis ball or even better one of these trigger point balls. Used in sitting or standing, rolling through the arch of your foot and comparing both sides allows you to learn about the discrepancies between your left and right feet along with treating fascial tightness… And it feels oh so good


Healthy habits and Injury prevention stretching

Plantar fascia release techniques

Did you know….

  • That we subconsciously hold our breath when we text?  Think of the amount of texts you send and receive every day. This results in your poor neck muscles, such as your Traps, Sternocleidomastoid and Scalenes increasing in muscle tension to compensate.  So when you think about it, texting, tindering and trawling through your news feed is a huge contributor to poor breathing and those tight shoulders of yours. How do we combat this? Simple. Relax, exhale and drop down your shoulders. Try and catch yourself in the act too. And just take in 5 simple, slow deep breaths and it really does make you realise how we operate in a state of tension when we are in auto-pilot working away throughout the day.
  • You are most likely using your thumb to scroll on your smart phone or index fingers clicking away on your computer reading this post. Considering the amount of hours we are connected and communicating, it is important to give our hands and wrists a little love back (before they take their revenge and give you a niggle or worse… a repetitive strain injury. Here are two simple and easily forgotten stretches that are bound to do wonders for you


Healthy habits and Injury prevention stretching

Wrist extensor stretching

Healthy habits and Injury prevention stretching

Wrist flexor stretching









Want to know more about how combat postural strain and reduce injury risk?

Get in contact with us and ask us about booking a consultation

Happy stretching, working and healthier living, Athletes!

Love TOA

Corporate Wellness

Wellness in the workplace

The movement of workplace wellness has taken off


Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.


At The Office Athlete, we focus on the physical wellness component of your health. We aim to make corporate wellbeing more personal and adapted to your inner athlete. If you’re primarily based at the desk, we provide self-assessments; physiotherapy preventative programs and education in order to keep any progressive build up of injuries at bay.

If you’re a weekend warrior, we also tailor our assessments to consider your inner athlete outside of the office – ensuring the specific sporting interests you have are able to be considered with our injury prevention programs


The search for the culprit:

Within the clinic setting, whether it be neck pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, wrist pain etc, Physiotherapists tend to see the injury as how it presents. The beauty of heading out into the workplace to assess your work space and activities ensures we can find the culprit. In today’s society, we are unilateral creatures in the work we do and predominately have our posture focused on what is in front of us at the desk, on the iPad or on the phone. These habits and positions we incorpate in out day to day doings take up such a large portion of our hours awake. There’s no wonder injuries and niggles build up over time and then present as an injury.

So that’s where Physiotherapy can come in handy.


Initiative examples:

The Office Athlete was very proud to take a part in WellNes week at Nespresso’s head office in Sydney.

There was a range health initiatives going on to help promote a healthy lifestyle for this hard working team. There were beauty and style professionals about giving tips, yoga sessions to tap into your inner zen, along with a life coach to help detoxify the mind.

This all-rounded approach to health and wellbeing was strongly praised by the Nespresso team.


The Office Athlete’s role was onsite Physiotherapy. Jennifer assessed the office environment, individual workstations, work habits and go through a comprehensive history of any pre-existing injuries for the Nespresso staff. Individual Physiotherapy programs were provided to each employee, with specific stretching and strengthening exercises to address any pre-existing injuries that have occurred outside of work or may be exacerbated from work.


The Office Athlete followed up with the staff from their previous physiotherapy intervention and workstation assessment in September, and here’s what they have to say:


Marcus: Just wanted to say thank you for coming in last week and helping me with my office chair and how to sit properly. Since you have helped me with my chair it has been so much more comfortable, and I hardly have any back pain or neck pain. All in all I have experienced a massive improvement, so thank you very much


Oliver: Just wanted to say a massive thank you !! the small desk arrangement recommendations you made has made the world of difference.


Peter: My neck and wrist pain has improved so much since those changes to my work set up. I have noticed such a difference. You’re the best!




Onsite ergonomic assessment and onsite Physiotherapy consultations



130 workstations assessed

98% of employees required adjustments

36% required equipment changes or acquired

74% had a work related pain or injury

22% had a non-work related injury

76% had a non-work related Physiotherapy consult as well as an ergonomic consult

100% felt they benefitted from their previous assessment after a 2 month follow up

100% have felt a significant improvement in any pre-existing neck, shoulder and wrist pain after their Physiotherapy consult with The Office Athlete.


All in all – there were some happy customers!


Where else is Wellness?



From climbing walls and ping-pong tables to on site cafes and childcare services, Google’s wellness initiatives enhance their staff’s working experience by offering a wide variety of activities and services

Healthy initiatives in the office

Healthy initiatives in the office










Safety is the number one priority of Qantas and recently during safety week, Qantas staff we able to utilize a broad range of health professionals to ensure they are remaining in tip-top shape. Onsite during this health initiative there were nutrition consultations, vision and hearing checks, meditation stations, Physiotherapy, Iridology and nurse health checks.


In a nutshell:

What does wellness mean to you? Wellness is more than being free from illness. Wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth. There are many interrelated dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, environmental, and occupational. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health.

Social Wellness

Perform social roles effectively and comfortably, and create a support network.

Occupational Wellness

Enjoy your occupational endeavors and appreciate your contributions.

Physical Wellness

Maintain a healthy body and seek medical care when needed.

Intellectual Wellness

Have an open mind when you encounter new ideas and continue to expand your knowledge.

Emotional Wellness

Understand your feelings and cope effectively with stress.

Spiritual Wellness

Develop a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose.

Environmental Wellness

Respect the delicate balance between the environment and ourselves.


Sometimes it’s the simple things

Nespresso George Clooney Nespresso coffee room bathroom gorgeousness IMG_4288 IMG_4281 IMG_4282 IMG_4280 The Office Athlete

The Office Athlete


Everything you need to know about your running shoes

run run run

When Do You Change Your Running Shoes?

It’s a new year, do you need a new shoe?

If you consider that your feet strike the ground between 600 – 1,000 times per kilometre (depending on your pace) at 2.5 – 3.5 times your body weight while running, it follows that footwear plays a critical role in running enjoyment, performance and injury prevention.

Running shoes that are inappropriately sized, unsuitable for your unique biomechanics or training needs and/or have gone past their use-by date can cause a variety of injuries. Researchers have shown a significant correlation between infrequent changes of running shoes and injury.

What should your expectations be from your running shoe?

  • Essentially it is very dependent on how much time you spend in your running shoes. As a general rule a good shoe will allow you to enjoy approximately 900 – 1,100km of running.

Why do running shoes get worn out?

  • Research has demonstrated that the midsole material of a running shoe will last for approximately 700-1,000 kilometres or 6-12 months of running. This is dependent on the mileage and intensity of training. The midsole provides the important cushioning and stability to a shoe, so once it has worn out the shoe loses its functional stability and increases your injury risk.
  • The outsole of a running shoe is made of durable compounds and is a poor indicator of remaining shoe life. In most cases, the midsole will wear out long before the outsole – especially for heavier runners.

Signs of Wear and Tear?

  • You need to examine the major areas of decomposition – the heel counter, the midsole and the outsole – any extrinsic abnormality causes an imbalance of impact forces and may increase the risk of injury to your lower limbs.
Shoe anatomy


  • Look at the heel counter – is there any wearing on the inside or outside? Wearing on the inside can actually promote over-pronation and its associated overuse injuries, while wearing on the outside can occur even with a normal running gait pattern.
  • Look at the midsole – is there any excessive compression, wrinkling or tilting? Monitor the torsional (twisting) stability of the shoe. Hold either ends of the shoe and twist in opposite directions – is there too much flexibility?
  • Look at the outsole – have you worn through the rubber to the midsole? Can you start to feel the irregularities of the ground under your feet?


Tips on how to get a longer life out of your shoes.

  • Reserve your running shoes for running only! Not gardening, hiking, cycling or creating a daggy walk to work outfit etc.
  • Rotate your shoes: alternate between two pairs of running shoes so as to prolong the life of the midsole beyond that of wearing each pair consecutively. Thus:
    • Use one pair for longer runs and any ‘events’ and the second pair only for shorter runs, inclement weather and any off-road runs.
    • The first pair to reach 1000 km run, should be given a new job description, (i.e. gardening, hiking etc) and a new pair should be brought into the rotation.
Shoes in much need of a replacement