You work a sedentary job and seek a miracle cure to reduce stiffness and stress, and improve your posture?
When your workday consists mainly of being in a motionless, sitting position, your body can quickly stiffen up and you may have a habit of not breathing deeply. Many health issues1 are associated with too much sitting:
- Musculoskeletal pain, loss of bone density and muscle weakness
- High risk of disease (cardiac and inflammatory disease, cancer)
- Poor blood circulation
- Body weight increase
No need to panic! A few simple daily actions can be very beneficial! While most of us know that taking a little stroll or stretching makes a huge difference… what should you do specifically?
What’s most beneficial?
Stretching? Or taking little breaks?
… The correct answer? It depends for everyone!
Here are some, easy-to-adopt, tips from the pros2 that you can test out to see what’s best for you.
Stretch your trapezius muscles; a simple gesture that’ll revolutionize your day!
This 90-seconds stretch is wonderful for tight, tired shoulders.
- Sitting on a chair, or standing, push one hand towards the ground
- Turn your head to the opposite side, hold for 45 seconds
- You can increase the stretch by tilting your chin slightly upwards
- Repeat on the other side
Take little breaks; a good habit that’ll give your body (and mind) a boost
No need to stop working very long to relax your body and rest your brain
- Gaze in the distance, away from your desk, for at least 30 seconds
- When the timing’s right, use the “square” (or box)3 breathing technic3
- For example, 2-2-2-2
- Inhale for 2 seconds (count in your head)
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds
- Exhale for 2 seconds
- Stop breathing (with empty lungs) for 2 seconds
- Favour a small drinking glass at work, this way, without even realizing it, you will take little breaks to go fill it up with water or juice!
Regardless of the type of break, when you find what’s right for you, you’ll feel better all-round, even your productivity will benefit. It’s a fact4!
Sometimes, improving your routine, means changing it!
A change in your work position, or varying the location where you complete certain tasks, can literally change your life.
- If possible, set up a stand-up work desk or a height-adjustable work area to help you change your position throughout the day.
- Working from home is a great way to manage your time, your breaks and your productivity, and it does wonders for your state of mind!
What you need to remember:
Sedentary work does not automatically equal health issues; solutions are available. Finding tips that work for you, will make you feel better every day!
2 Conseil des kinésiologues de la Clinique Performance Santé