Have you taken any microbreaks today? Yep - it's hard to take these breaks!

Musculoskeletal disorders such as neck, shoulder, and back problems have increased during COVID-19 pandemic. This is a result of both immobility and poor work ergonomics. According to health specialists, this could be avoided by taking enough breaks and moving around. 

Microbreaks - tiny breaks that allow your body and mind to recharge

These are just a few examples of how microbreaks can benefit you:

  • stretches the muscles and refreshes the body
  • relieves neck and shoulder pain as well as headaches 
  • improves perception and refreshes the mind
  • improves alertness and productivity

Could taking more microbreaks make you more productive? Even if it "takes time"? Yes, we agree! They're also a great opportunity to socialize. 

The Finnish Spinal Health Association (Selkäliitto) notes in its 2020 publication that microbreaks improve attention and concentration, as well as having a positive impact on learning. The UKK Institute (a private research organization promoting public health) physical activity recommendation for 2020 emphasizes microbreaks for the first time! The list goes on and on, but here is a summary:

Microbreaks offer a great deal of health benefits!

"But I'm taking a lunch break and a coffee break! I also regularly exercise at the gym. Do I really need those microbreaks?"

Even if you take a few breaks for lunch and coffee, it is crucial to take breaks throughout the day. To maintain concentration, the brain needs to be refreshed throughout the day, especially in mind-intensive tasks. Having a sense of empowerment and energizing would be particularly helpful. Passive breaks are not enough to recover after one-sided work. Active breaks relieve fatigue much more effectively than resting. 

The best way to reduce sitting stress is to avoid long periods of sitting, since regular leisure time exercise has not been proven to reduce sitting's health effects.

But how much is enough?

The recommendation is to take a break of 5-10 minutes every 30-60 minutes, and at least every half hour if the work requires great precision or concentration. Taking a break every hour is recommended for optimal brain function.

It's so hard to maintain those regular microbreaks!

Most of us already know all of these things, but making them a regular part of our lives is tough. Or what do you think?

We're excited to share with you an innovation, Seat Guard, that helps you avoid spending too much time sitting. It is actually such a simple idea that it was hard to find programmers to code it. Sitting on the device will make it vibrate every 30 minutes. In addition, it ensures you avoid sitting for at least 2 minutes. 

Sit down and as soon as you feel a buzz, get up and take a break. Read more about it here.

 

When you take "a Seat Guard microbreak", it doesn't matter what you're doing as long as you move, so that you can continue writing that important email while standing up, or stand while you're in an online meeting. Likewise, you can use the reminder to go get those copies, to get coffee, or to get a snack. 

Using Seat Guard as a time management tool is a secondary benefit. You understand that you must speed up and be more efficient if you sit down to begin a meeting with a coworker and haven't even discussed the subject yet after 30 minutes have passed and your seatguard vibrates. You can use it to track and plan your day, as well as increase your healthy lifestyle through systematic routines. 

The following are some of the health benefits of Seat Guard:

  • Creates a healthy sitting rhythm for your body
  • Increases your physical activity
  • Enhances brain alertness and metabolism
  • Gets you up and moving while you're sitting

What you can do with the two minutes you have - well that's another story!

 

Sources:

Aalto. 2006. Työelämän selviytymisopas. Käytännön ohjeita työhyvinvointiin. WSOY. 

Aikkila. 2020. Suomalaiset istuvat nyt niin paljon, että tavallista työpäivää voi verrata pitkän matkan lentoon - asiantuntija neuvoo, mitä jokaisen kannattaa tehdä. Helsingin Sanomat. https://www.hs.fi/hyvinvointi/art-2000006483567.html

Hyvärinen. 2007. Taukoliikuntaohjelman vaikutus näyttöpäätetyöntekijöiden fyysiseen ja psyykkiseen työkykyyn. Pro gradu –tutkielma. Liikuntatieteiden laitos. https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/bitstream/handle/123456789/18418/URN_NBN_fi_jyu-200804211370.pdf?sequence=1   

Juurinen, Finni, Pesola. 2017. Liikunta ja liikkumattomuus vaikuttavat terveyteesi - yhdessä ja erikseen. Liikuntalääketieteenpäivät. https://jyx.jyu.fi/bitstream/handle/123456789/62654/1/lt5173237.pdf

Launis & Lehtelä. 2011. Ergonomia. Työterveyslaitos. https://www.julkari.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/136841/978-952-261-059-1_Ergonomia.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y 

Pesola. 2013. Luomuliikunnan vallankumous. Sohvan pohjalta taisteluvoittoon. Fitra. 

Siekkinen. 2013. Taukojumppaopas. Virikkeitä vertaisohjaajille. LIKES. 

THL. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health 2020. http://www.ttl.fi/fi/tyohyvinvointi/Sivut/default.aspx  

UKK-instituutti. 2019. Liikkumalla terveyttä - liikkumisen suositus aikuisille. https://ukkinstituutti.fi/liikkuminen/liikkumisen-suositukset/ & https://ukkinstituutti.fi/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/A1-liite1-verkkokauppaan-aikuisten-liikkumisen-suositus-tekstit-web.pdf

Virolainen. 2012. Kokonaisvaltainen työhyvinvointi. Books on Demand. https://books.google.fi/books?id=97IqYlYUaQcC&printsec=frontco-ver&hl=fi&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false