Micro-Break: The Cure for Sitting Related Back Pain
Did you know that sitting is the new smoking? The average adult spends 11 hours a day sitting, and many sit for up to 15! What we now realize is that it is not how long we cumulatively sit that is important, but how many times we get up during the period of sitting.
The only way to avoid the dangerous effects of chronic sitting, is to take short, frequent mini-breaks. We call these Micro-breaks, that only take 60 seconds, but effectively re-boot your nervous system as well as the plasticity of your connective tissue (think spinal discs, muscles, and cartilage). A quick sample of a great micro-break is here.
Again, it only takes 45-60 seconds, but what is most important is that they are done frequently throughout the day. I advise if you are locked in an office-desk environment, that these breaks should happen every 30 minutes, even every 20 minutes if you are sore and fatigued. The reason for 20-30 minutes is that is how long it takes the connective tissue to change shape and lose its protective properties. Those tissues do eventually return to their original shape, but only after a significantly longer time. Therefore, it is much more effective to take a short mini break frequently, than to work longer and take a longer break. Tissues simply don’t return to their pre-stressed condition after an hour or two. This can you leave you much more vulnerable to injury.
Micro-breaks also stimulate blood flow, as well as wake up nerves that detect the movement in our limbs, cascading to increased brain activity. We have all known this anecdotally, moving helps us think and be more creative!
Try these micro-break exercises, and please share them with others. The more we move, the healthier and more productive we become!