Micro-breaks – my top tip for desk workers!

Libby O'Sullivan

I harp on about this a lot! Especially to anyone I treat for pain aggravated by desk/computer work! #sorrynotsorry

Microbreaks are tiny little breaks you take regularly throughout the day to mix up your position/posture. They can be very short (even 30seconds can be enough!), can be done at or near your desk, and can reset the body and mind to keep you even more productive until the next break 💪

Taking microbreaks is even more important if you spend a lot of your day in the same position (I’m looking at you desk workers 👀 and breastfeeding mums) because our bodies need variety! They also take away the guilt of “not doing your stretching” when you get home and all you want to do is put your feet up and watch netflix.

So what should you do in your micro-break?

Here are a few ideas of what you can do during your micro-breaks.
Alternate between them, do more of the ones that feel good, or make up your own!

1. Diaphragmatic breathing

(great for a bit of a calm down, and to loosen up the mid back)
You can place hands on the outside of your ribcage or one on chest and one on tummy.
Breathe deeply and fully into your ribs and belly.
Imagine an umbrella opening up in your ribcage so you are getting expansion in all directions 360°.
Repeat 5 x

2. Standing back extensions

(great for stiff lower backs)
Put your hands on your hips or back.
Lean back as far as you can (even if it feels a bit stiff at the end).
Return to upright and repeat 10x

3. Pec stretch

(great chest opener)
Fond a doorway / wall.
Aim for about 90° bend at the elbow.
Set the shoulder blade down, neck long and enjoy the stretch.
Hold for 20-30 seconds each side

4. Hip flexor stretch

(great for stiff lower backs and knees)
Drop a knee.
Tuck your tailbone under.
Lean into the stretch, keeping ribs down.
Hold 20-30 seconds each side

5. Go for a stroll and make yourself a coffee ☕️ (sometimes the body wants what the body wants )

Set a reminder

Oh and you’ll probably need to set a reminder on your phone to go off every 30-60mins ⏰ because I guarantee you’ll forget otherwise!!

If you’re struggling with pain or stiffness you associate with sitting at your desk, make an appointment! We can go treat the pain, assess you set up and you through some micro-break ideas and other strategies to help you feel better asap!