How to Use Micro-movements and Mini-breaks to Prevent Injury

We’ve all been there…sitting at your desk, on your couch, or favorite chair and staring at your computer or phone for the better part of the last hour.  Most likely hunched over or slouched, with your shoulders rounded and head and neck looking down or protruding forward.

If I just described you, don’t take any offense. It happens to all of us during our long days. The problem with these small, recurring breaks in our posture is that they lead to big problems over time. 

The key to solving this problem is building the daily habit of micro-breaks and micro-movements. What does that look like you ask? It’s simple, here’s a few examples of what a micro-break can look like:

  • Stand up
  • Go to the bathroom
  • Go check the mail
  • Shake out your hands
  • Stretch out your arms

Take 30 seconds or a few minutes and MOVE.  These actions can be small, tiny movements or large, full body movements.  It can look like fidgeting your fingers or bouncing your legs.  Making circles with your ankles and wrists.  Twisting, turning, and bending over to touch your touches. Sitting up straight and extending your mid back. Bringing your arms behind you or across your body. Moving your head up and down and side to side or even looking over your shoulder.

Whether you are doing small movements or large movements, that simple action leads to a cascade of events that result in you feeling better and more refreshed. Just by moving you are hydrating your tissues. You are also resetting the tone and length of tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) that have either been resting in a stretched (long) state or in a contracted (shortened) state.  Tissues can become accustomed to these static or postural positions and become painful, weak, and inhibited and unable to move through their entire range of motion.

How often should you be doing this? For every 20 minutes spent in a prolonged position, take 30-60 seconds and move during your day. Or even once an hour is a good place to start.

If you’ve started to notice persistent aches and pains during the day try these micro-movements out. If that doesn’t help, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

Hope this helps!

Dr. James Bradley

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