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Research on How to Stay Comfortable At Work

In a recent article titled, “It’s Time to Have a Rest: How Do Break Types Affect Muscular Activity and Perceived Discomfort During Prolonged Sitting at Work,” researchers used electromyographic (EMG) studies of the trapezius and lattisimus dorsi during 2 hours of sedentary work (EMG = assessing electrical activity in skeletal muscle). They divided the intervention groups into passive break (participants remained seated in an armchair for the 5-10 minute break time) and active break (one group would change their posture and walk around for 5-10 minutes and the other group would stand and stretch for 5 or 10 minutes).

The results showed muscle fatigue began at 40 minutes of sedentary work and that stand and stretch for 5 minutes was the most effective intervention in delaying discomfort/fatigue with prolonged sitting. This type of break kept the muscles in a state of recovery for 35-45 minutes.

If you are working in a sedentary job, we recommend getting up every 40 minutes and performing 5 minutes of stretching. It is always difficult to start a new routine, but once you get in this habit it can keep your body happy and healthy!

If you are having persistent discomfort or want more advice on how to stay comfortable while performing your job, call Omaha Physical Therapy Institute today!

Marc Hunley, PT, DPT  

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