Workstations can combine a comfortable, adjustable office chair along with great leg and foot support, but it is still essential for you to take a break from your desk. When you sit for too long, your body can develop aches and pains, your eyes can become sore, and you may find yourself suffering from headaches. Having an ergonomic environment in which you work is being recognized in many businesses and corporations across as essential to employee health, but this efficient workspace does not replace the need for you to protect your spine and eyes from sitting fatigue.
Take a Break from Your Office Chair
When you remain seated in the same position for hours at a time, your back and neck muscles will suffer. Experts who study the design of work environments to reduce fatigue and discomfort state it is necessary to your health to take frequent, brief breaks away from your office chair. There are several areas on your body that require and benefit from these breaks.
Remaining in the same position for hours will result in lactic acid accumulating in your muscles. When this acid builds up, you will create muscle dysfunction causing you pain. Getting up and walking away from your office chair to stretch and contract your muscles will reduce your risk of muscle dysfunction.
Your eyes suffer from looking at the computer screen for prolonged periods of time. Looking at the same image or area for too long of time reduces the number of times you blink and exposes the surface of your eye to the air. It is recommended you look away from your screen every fifteen minutes and seek an alternate view for one to two minutes. Find an object about twenty feet away from you and let the muscles in your eye relax as it focuses on the object. By doing this exercise, you are allowing the tear film to refresh and clearing away any dust from the eye surface.
Studies are showing that people who sit for too long each day are more at risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and dementia. Moving around during the day will reduce the risk of these serious conditions. Even if you go to the gym after a long day at the office, you cannot remove the damage done by sitting seven hours straight before hitting the gym. Your body needs a break from the office chair periodically during your work time.
How Long and Often to Break from Your Office Chair
Rest breaks are an excellent way to move off the chair. Every half hour to an hour, give yourself a break by standing up, grabbing something to drink, chat with a co-worker or even take a walk around the office. It doesn’t have to be a long break; you just need to move off the chair, straighten your body and get your blood flowing. This short break will also give your muscles a break from being in the same position for so long.
A micro-break is a good way to stretch your muscles differently. If you are typing a lot on a computer, simply take your hands off the keyboard periodically for just a short time to stretch your fingers and flex your wrist. You can also allow your hands and arms to rest by laying them in your lap in a relaxed position. You do not necessarily have to get up and move, but you can stretch and readjust various muscles all while sitting in your office chair.
Stretching exercises will show your body the most benefits to reduce the effects of sitting too long in your office chair. Stretching allows your muscles and ligaments to remain flexible. When you stretch, you will reduce the amount of stress applied to your joints and improve your blood flow. This movement will prevent stiffness or limits of your movements caused by sitting too long.
A break from your office chair does not have to be a big affair. You don’t necessarily have to leave the building or even your work area to provide benefits to your body. A break can mean getting up from your chair and repositioning your posture or changing the type of work you are completing. A break can also be going to the vending machine for a snack or drink and stretching yourself while you are away.
Experts state the best time to break from your office chair is every twenty minutes. Taking a two to three-minute break approximately every twenty minutes will help reduce your risk of aches and pains associated with long periods of sitting.