Better Back through Microbreaks

And the list goes on. With the type of work most of us have right now, sitting has become the most common position for everyone. While there was a time that sitting is a relief from physically taxing work, it’s the position that stresses people out after long periods of being stuck on executive office chairs.

Our bodies have grown accustomed to it that we feel discomfort much easier, and at the end of the day, our energies have been spent. What was supposed to be an activity that gave us relief is not giving us suffering. You can say, this sedentary lifestyle have made us weaker.

That ergonomic chair for back pain has provided us relief and keeps us at the correct and proper sitting posture, helping us prevent back pain, but there is another way to keep ourselves healthier and stronger during the day: microbreaks.

What Microbreaks Are

These are small breaks you can do during work where you stand up from your desk and do short stretching exercises to “reset” your back and keep you from experiencing pain due to non-movement for hours. Your muscles are strained if you stay in one position for an extended period of time, even if you were just sitting. Microbreaks disrupt that unhealthy monotony by getting you to move from time to time.

These small breaks do not have to involve going out for a snack or a smoke (especially because smoking is bad for you). You do not need to use any equipment. You do not even need a pilates exercise chair to help you with the stretches.  A micro-break can be done at or near your desk. All you need is yourself.

So, how do you maximize every microbreak?

How to Stretch

Here’s what you should do during your microbreak, which you should be doing when you find yourself working for long periods:

1.    Stand up, set your feet  flat on the ground, and make sure your shoulders are relaxed. If you’re wear heels, take them off to give your            feet some break as well.
2.    Raise your arms over your head, but do not stretch yet.
3.    Breathe in through your nose and hold it in. Do not let your shoulders go up.
4.    While holding your breath, stretch your arms towards the ceiling.
5.    Release your breath as you bring your arms down.

That’s it, then you can go back to work.

If you find it too difficult to keep yourself in check during work, you can benefit from using personal work timers to help you time yourself during work to adhere to your microbreaks.

You can also practice using hydration as your “timer.” Not only is drinking water healthy for you, when you finish the content of your glass, refilling it tells you that it is time to do move a little.

Aside from these, your regular lunch break is an opportunity for you to get some much needed walk around. Bathroom breaks encourage you to go for a short stroll as well. Even walking up to a colleague to hand over some documents can give you some relief from hours of sitting.

Even if you bring your own lunch to work and you have ergonomic chairs for back pain in the office, walk away from your desk! Take advantage that you have this time for yourself and not worry about work.

No matter how comfortable your office chair is, taking microbreaks is healthy for you. If you have time, also make sure you are doing proper stretching and strengthening exercises to help you keep your body healthy.      

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