Movement Breaks and Why we Need More of Them

Movement Breaks and Why we Need More of Them

Many of us often talk about wanting to spend less time on our phones and reduce our screen time in general, but how realistic is that? So much of our daily lives require using technology, for work, connecting with others, relaxing at the end of the day with streaming or social media. If using screens less is not always a practical option, is there a way to minimize the negative health risks linked to high screen use? 

Movement breaks are a fantastic solution to addressing adverse health risks of sedentary and high screen time lifestyles. With so much work being done from home, it’s easier than ever to fill your work space with all the things you need so you don't have to get up, but it’s also easier than ever to incorporate some movement breaks throughout the day. 

The goal of movement breaks is to disperse sedentary time, which is the act of sitting, reclined or lying down and exerting very little energy (such as screen time, eating, watching tv, but not including sleep). Sedentary hours is a separate health measure than active hours, as bouts of over one hour of sedentary time have increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders and all cause mortality. So we can be active during our free time, but still have increased health risks from our consecutive hours spent at our desks or sofas. 

This concept is not new, you probably had a kindergarten teacher who did this without you even knowing! That’s because these breaks are also beneficial for our attention span, both in children and adults. But now, because of how sedentary our work lives have become, a reintroduction of movement breaks is completely necessary for our physical health. So what does a movement break look like?

Movement breaks can be as simple as walking for one to two minutes and grabbing a drink of water. We can also incorporate some easy stretching for our chests and neck, and squeezing the shoulder blades together for a little posture reset before returning to work. 

Incorporating these little breaks increases health measures for all. They are great for mental health, for our posture and reducing our health risks and just take a few minutes! 

As a Kinesiologist I can help create a movement and treatment plan that will be most effective and provide maximum amount of relief for you. Let’s get moving! 

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