May 17, 2020

Workouts and exercises suitable for the office

Workouts at work
building strength
4 min
Executives are embracing corporate wellness programmes
Written by Korben Konrady, Founder, BARR Wellness Office environments around the world are taking on a new form. Executives and upper level managers ar...

Written by Korben Konrady, Founder, BARR Wellness

Office environments around the world are taking on a new form. Executives and upper level managers are embracing their new-found wellness programmes and encouraging behaviours that may have seemed odd a few years ago. Companies are allowing employees more time at lunch to make workouts more convenient and in some cases allowing office workers to leave early to join teammates for a boot camp, outdoor hike or group exercise.

Nearly every exercise can be modified to perform at a desk or with the help of a chair, but remembering that offices are busy places, it is necessary to err on the side of caution and keep the heavy lifting outside the office. So, let us keep the water coolers, copiers and other office equipment in their places while we review some weight-free resistance exercises that nearly everyone can perform.


Rather than completing an hour long workout in the gym, these exercises can be done repeatedly throughout the day. In most cases you do not even need a designated area to work out, however be very aware of your surroundings when performing any routine.


A wall, desk or cabinet can be used as a bench for push-ups or tricep dips. To perform tricep dips start by facing away from desk with palms down behind your back to press down on the desk. Carefully, lower your body by dipping straight down then pressing back up to complete the motion. Every different angle you can press from will work the shoulders in a slightly different manner and will build strength.


Many varieties of squats and walking lunges achieve great results. Taking the stairs rather than the lift is always a great quick activity. However, for a real challenge, try the ‘wall sit’ by pressing your back against the wall and squatting down as if you were in an imaginary chair. Just a few moments in this position will prove to be a challenge. Start gradually with the goal of bringing your knees to a 90 degree angle and holding the position as long as possible.


Sit-ups and body planks work very well and you can perform any number of variations. To plank, lie on your stomach and then press your body up with your forearms or hands while keeping the back as straight as possible. Each side can be engaged by shifting from the plank to a one arm side plank. This movement may be difficult at first, but, planks are easy to modify by placing a knee on the ground. Stomach crunches are very simple and low-impact.


The simplest way of staying limber and preventing sporting injuries is by performing daily stretches. These can be done in the office, at home or even standing in line for groceries. They are essential for keeping your body loose and functional; even more essential if you are taking part in an exercise routine outside the office. Take 20 to 30 seconds with each stretch, start from the ground and move up one area at a time until you reach the top.

Ankles and feet

Roll your feet in circles, both directions and flex the feet by pointing toes downward and upward.


Stand with feet together and lean down to place your hands on your kneecaps. With legs squeezed together, roll the knees in small circles very slowly, alternating directions several times.


Stretch your hamstrings by leaning forward with flat back, and your quadriceps by reaching down to grab your ankle and pull it toward our buttocks. This is a great time to incorporate some lunges, squats or wall-sits. 


The midsection is important because our core weakens and takes on worse posture the longer we sit passively. Begin with rolling the hips in circles as if you had a hula hoop around your waist. Then reach your hands overhead and take a deep stretch to each side. Perform this exercise up against a wall to keep good form.

Shoulders, neck and upper back

These areas are the source of discomfort for many of us that sit at a desk day after day. For shoulders, extend your arms straight out to the sides, make small circles with your hands both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Perform shoulder shrugs to keep your neck from tightening up and do so with slow and intentional movements.  You can further help the upper back by doing slow overhead presses as if you were pushing your palms up toward the ceiling.

You have likely performed each of these at one point in your life but the challenge is to now make stretching part of your everyday routine. In most cases, after a few weeks you will find yourself stretching in public without hesitation because it does a body good and, hey, it just feels great!


Based in San Diego, BARR Wellness designs, implements and manages a custom wellness programme for companies using a 'results based' approach as recommended by the Wellness Council of America. BARR also designs and manages on-site medical facilities for its corporate clients and its team of experts is available to work on a one-on-one basis or in group settings to bring health and wellness knowledge into the workplace.

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Jun 20, 2021

Medical device companies: how to prepare for Brexit

Ed Ball
6 min
Ed Ball, Senior Associate at RQM+ , explains how medical device companies can prepare for post-Brexit compliance

Over the last decade, medical device businesses have been no strangers to regulatory changes and new compliance requirements. Companies with devices in the EU market have been working hard to achieve conformity with the requirements of the EU Medical Device Regulation 2017/745 (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation 2017/746 (IVDR), but the UK’s exit from the EU, effective as of 1st January 2021, demands yet another change: to comply with the new UK regulatory regime.

The Medicines and Medical Devices Act passed into law on 11 February 2021 does just that; it enables the UK to build its own regulatory system, although when this new framework will be fully in place is not yet known.

The transition to the UK’s new regulatory regime officially began on the 1st of January 2021, and with it a series of deadlines and phases that medical device manufacturers exporting to GB and Northern Ireland would do well to take close notice of. During the transition period, the UK Medical Devices Regulations (UK MDR) 2002, not to be confused with the EU MDR, will continue to apply in England, Scotland and Wales, whilst CE marked medical devices will still be accepted up to 30th June 2023.

The conformity assessment processes defined in the UK MDR 2002 (as amended) will require that medical devices carry the UKCA mark for entry in the GB market or the UKNI mark for entry in Northern Ireland (where the devices are not CE marked for the EU). In Northern Ireland, where the rules for placing a device on the market differ, the EU MDR and IVDR will apply in 2021 and 2022 respectively, in line with the EU’s implementation timeline. 

This easing-in period of transition is valuable time that should be used productively by manufacturers to ensure that they get up to speed, keep up with relevant updates and prepare strategies and product portfolio for the next phase. To do this, businesses should make sure they consider the following areas as they assess their strategy for UK market access:

Potential Overlap with EU MDR and IVDR
Medical device manufacturers have been working to implement measures to ensure they comply with EU MDR and IVDR for quite some time. The experience, processes and objective evidence that they have gathered in these efforts are certain to be of use when applying for UKCA marking. 

Rigorous Planning
Product portfolios and new product pipelines should be evaluated against both overall compliance risk and commercial and strategic value. By identifying the regulatory compliance status for each product for the UK market and the efforts required to maintain that compliance, manufacturers can plan to use the grace period up to June 2023 to complete their activities. These plans should also be evaluated in consideration of the commercial importance of the individual products to help prioritise the workload. This may well result in the decision to discontinue certain products in the UK or to introduce new products on the UK market ahead of other markets.

Engage with Approved Bodies
This activity cannot take place too soon; as of the 1st of January 2021, UK organisations that were acting as EU Notified Bodies have become Approved Bodies in the UK, while EU Notified Bodies are no longer able to provide conformity assessments under the UK regulations. As there are currently only three UK Approved Bodies offering this service, there is a very real risk that latecomers will struggle to find a UK Approved Body to carry out the conformity assessment required to attain their UKCA mark in time.

Authorised Representatives
Just as EU Notified Bodies are no longer relevant to pursuing UK certifications, UK-based Authorised Representatives are no longer valid when CE marking against the MDR or IVDR. Manufacturers using UK-based EU Authorised Representatives must switch to an EU-based Authorised Representative.

For the UK market, the role of the EU Authorised Representative is also no longer applicable. Non-UK manufacturers must have a UK-based Responsible Person (UKRP), which is equivalent to the EU Authorised Representative in terms of roles and responsibilities. Only one UKRP may be appointed, unlike EU Authorised Representatives, and they must have a registered place of business in the UK in order to register with the MHRA. Approved Bodies may be able to provide details of organisations acting as UKRPs and once this role has been assigned it will be critical for manufacturers to determine exact procedures for managing documentation and that clear communication channels are established. 

Labelling and Import/Export
New UK regulations require that medical devices bear a UKCA mark in addition to the name and address of the UKRP for non-UK based manufacturers. Manufacturers who use the same products/packs for the EU and UK markets will need to consider the impact of adding more content to their labels in terms of usability for the supply chain and end-users. 

While CE marking and certificates will continue to be recognised by the UK until June 2023, import/export administration is likely to change and become more burdensome. Manufacturers using separate products for GB (UKCA) and the EU and Northern Ireland (CE marked) will need to plan for how to ensure that the CE marked product is not shipped to GB post June 2023. Ensuring that processes and resources are in place to deal with developing situations will help manufacturers hit the ground running.

Clinical Investigations
Many businesses will find that clinical investigations are carried out across multiple sites, some of which are outside the UK. In these instances, manufacturers will do well to have a plan for implementation and management of investigations, in compliance with local requirements. It is likely that the MHRA will also continue to update their requirements for clinical trials in the UK.

Data Protection and Standards
New tensions are emerging between the EU and the UK concerning UK data protection rules and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), suggesting that maintaining ‘equivalency’ may involve a number of different phases.

Compliance with applicable standards also requires close attention; the list of designated standards for medical devices issued by the UK’s Department for Health and Social Care is based on the list of harmonised standards published in the Official Journal of the EU, which in turn are harmonised to the MDD, AIMDD and IVDD. More recently published standards, however, have not been harmonised to the latter European directives and are thus not in the UK’s designated list, despite being considered state of the art. It would be prudent for manufacturers to monitor the state-of-the-art standards and apply where applicable, rather than rely on superseded and outdated standards.

As the UK moves into a new regulatory regime, medical device manufacturers who have already invested time and resources to comply with EU MDR and IVDR can use this to attain their UKCA mark. However, a dynamic compliance environment combined with the new onus relating to export policies means that close attention needs to be paid on numerous fronts. Keeping pace with this changing environment will ensure that manufacturers face the future with confidence and do not lose important space on their markets.

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