May 15, 2019
Written by: Robbyn Holland
It might seem more effective to work through your lunch break, but experts reveal it’s having a devastating effect on your health. When was the last time you took your full lunch hour at work? It seems we are a nation of desk-hunching, on-the-go eaters. Just 3 per cent of us take an hour-long break, with 52 per cent grabbing no more than 10 minutes.
A fifth blame their workload and 12 per cent say they are worried about leaving their desk. Experts reveal the damage you could be doing and how to make the most of your lunch break. Without getting up from your desk for a lunch break, and moving about, we sit in the same position for long periods, which is bad for posture. Julie Barber, consultant at Six Physio, says: “Our bodies are designed to move, but many of us are employed in sedentary occupations.”
“All work and no play is not good for the soul.” Felix Sebates
Research suggests active breaks with postural changes may be effective in reducing pain and discomfort as well as preventing our backs and muscles from tightening up in the first place. try setting an alert on your phone to prompt you to get up.
Motion is lotion for the joints, and just small breaks in the day can improve how your body and brain feel come clocking-off time. Get up and do a circle of the office every hour, and go for a walk on your lunch break.
#1: Get To Know Your Posture
Ask a friend to take two full-length photos of you, one from the front and one from the side. Wear something form-fitting so you can see the alignment of your body. If your ear is located beyond the midpoint of your shoulder, your head is too far forward.
If you can see your shoulder blade, then your back is too rounded. A belly can indicate an anterior pelvic tilt, and your shoulders and hips should appear level. Simply by becoming aware of where your posture problems lie, can help you to make a conscious effort to correct them.
#2: Book a chiroprator
Find a chiroprator who can help you get your spine and back into the correct alignment. Long-term incorrect vertebra locations can make it impossible to improve your posture without relocating them. Once you are back in line, you will find it much easier to keep a good posture, and following an exercise regimen which strengthens your core muscles will help you maintain your newly corrected positioning.
#3: Exercise for Good Posture
Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to improve posture. The gentle stretching movements help increase mobility and suppleness, particularly in the neck and spine. Yoga also helps to balance both sides of your body, increasing harmony and keeping you correctly aligned.Performing exercises to increase your core muscle strength will also greatly help your posture.
Having well-toned abdominal and back muscles will keep you straighter. Trampolining is an excellent way to strengthen your bones, improve your coordination and make you more aware of your body. When performing any kind of exercise keep your posture in mind and correct it, as necessary, to get the full benefit of the exercise you are doing.
#4: Make the Most of Time Spent Sitting
If you spend a large amount of time seated, chances are you are not in the correct position and this can lead to bad posture, back and neck aches. You should sit with your feet flat on the floor and never with your legs crossed. If your feet do not reach the floor correctly invest in a footrest or place a couple of large books under them.
Make sure that your lower back is supported, either with a special ergonomically designed backrest or by rolling up a towel and locating it in position. Remember to take breaks and get up and move about regularly. If you spend long hours sitting, investing in an ergonomically designed chair can really assist you to maintain good posture.
At home kneeling chairs can be a great option. They take a while to get used to, but their unique design helps throw your pelvis forward, which naturally lines up your spine correctly. Most kneeling chairs have a rocker bottom which encourages you to keep moving to re-establish balance at all times.
A similar, less costly idea is the saddle seat which is simply a saddle attached to a ball. This can be used to convert any regular chair into an ergonomic one which keeps your body in constant motion.
#5: Invest in Rocker Soles Shoes
Rocker bottom shoes are a great posture aid. They work on the same instability principal as rocking footrests and chairs. The rounded bottoms encourage correct walking technique, and as the body naturally craves balance, the imbalance created by the rockers ensures you keep moving constantly.
This helps to strengthen and build the core muscles necessary for good posture. While this type of shoe was once only available as trainers, they now come in a wide range of styles and colours, making them ideal for everyday use and work wear, so you can join a growing number of people experiencing postural improvements simply by slipping into a rocker-bottomed shoe every morning.