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!
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