Microbreaks Could Be The Secret To Preventing Pain And Burnout In The Office
As leaders in New York City’s on-site wellness arena, we treat a ton of patients suffering from the effects of poor posture and ergonomics relating to habits in the workplace. Hunching over a desk, staying still for hours on end, and paying little attention to the creeping tension you feel in your arms, wrists, legs and hips can spell disaster for your long term wellness. We could show a million studies that prove how bad this all is for us, but if you’re reading this you likely already know first-hand what a long day sitting at desk can do to you.
Luckily, there is a simple and effective solution that can help drastically improve the way you feel at work: microbreaks.
Microbreaks are pretty much exactly what they sound like— short (two minutes or less) breaks from sitting at your desk, taken at least once an hour. During this time you should get up, walk around a bit, stretch if you feel like it and generally do whatever you can to engage your neck and back muscles before returning to work.
Maybe walk to the kitchen to refill your water bottle. Perhaps stand up and take your next phone call while pacing. Even going to the bathroom checks off the microbreak list.
Whatever you choose to do, proper microbreaks can give you so many hidden benefits that help fight against the office-related posture problems we so often treat in our clinic.
They force you to be less sedentary
So much research points to immobility as a huge contributor to a number of health problems. When you hold your neck, back and shoulder muscles in the same position for hours on end, you increase pressure on the spice cause yourself to feel stiff and sore long after you leave the office. Microbreaks that engage these muscles in movement will help you prevent this, preventing short term pain and long-term loss of mobility.
They cause you to be more intentional about your posture
A nice benefit of microbreaks is that they give you an opportunity to reevaluate your posture at your desk. We work with tons of patients on their posture in the workplace, and over time we’ve noticed that people simply fall into bad habits when they stop being intentional. When you return from a microbreak, you have a chance to reset the way that you work to make sure you are following best practices when it comes to how you hold your body over a desk.
They allow your muscles a chance to rest
Even working at a desk can tire certain muscles out if you push them too hard. Fingers, wrists, shoulders, back and neck muscles are all susceptible to strain when you type too long during an undisturbed period of time. By taking microbreaks, you allow these muscles time to reset, and regain some of their strength, thereby preventing long term injuries such as carpal tunnel or severe stiffness in the back or neck.
They also provide you a chance to restore your attention and focus
An unexpected bonus many of our patients have reported is that taking microbreaks also gives the mind a much needed resting period. Simply leaving your desk for a minute or two can offer a mental break from a challenging problem. Over the course of a long day of work, giving yourself periodic breaks of both body and mind will help ensure you are productive and well for a bigger chunk of time.
To learn more about how we help patients improve their posture and ergonomics at work, check out another awesome article about our services here. If you are interested in receiving treatment in this area, please visit our contact us page to learn more about scheduling a free consultation!