Sitting Too Much? Take a Microbreak

It’s no secret that sitting too much can cause musculoskeletal problems or aggravate existing ones.  Prolonged sitting causes stretching of our joint’s passive stabilizers, which are ligaments. The job of our ligaments are to support our joints, but when those ligaments begin to lengthen and stretch for an extended period of time, symptoms will develop.  It has been shown that it can take several hours for your joints to recover and for normal tissue properties to be restored.  Although quality chairs and supports may help, taking microbreaks from sitting are necessary.

So what are ergonomic microbreaks?  For every twenty minutes that you sit, stand for one minute.  It sounds tedious to do, but it will save your joints in the long run.  The next question is what do you do when you stand.  Here’s a simple microbreak exercise.

This is called the standing Bruegger’s exercise
Starting position:
• Stand up tall with your feet slightly further apart than your hips.
• Turn your feet out slightly.
• Tuck your chin in slightly, as if nodding ‘yes’.

The exercise:
• Breathe in (through your nose) into your abdomen.
• Then exhale slowly while at the same time: Turning your palms out, with fingers extended and raising your breastbone towards your chin slightly.

Repeat 2–3 times

For more information contact Shaw Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center at (515) 987-6332 or visit our website at

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