High blood pressure, back pain, type 2 diabetes and obesity can all result from sitting too much. But many of them can’t bring themselves to do sports after work. One solution is the eventful break. We have put together a few ideas for you.
Most people move far too little in everyday life. They drive to work by car, bus or train, take the elevator instead of the stairs and are hardly active at work: In this country, a whopping 47.3 percent of the population do their job mainly sitting or standing. After a long day at work in the desk chair, the body actually longs for movement. And yet more than 40 percent of those surveyed state that their day is usually so strenuous that they prefer to end their workday on the sofa.
A good half of the employees who do their job in front of the screen would like to exercise more during their working day and for good reasons: Sport effectively reduces stress, supports the release of the happiness hormone serotonin, strengthens the cardiovascular and immune systems and prevents back problems caused by long periods of sitting. In addition, the brain is better supplied with oxygen and you can work more concentrated again. All of this should motivate even die-hard sports gruff for company sports or active breaks.
Make your sitting more comfortable
Put your feet up during your lunch break? That sounds tempting; use the time for a short walk in the fresh air – or for jogging.
Since the lunch break usually does not last longer than 60 minutes, some preparation is required. So while you are still at home, make sure your gym bag contains everything you will need later. Then plan enough time for moving and freshening up afterwards. If necessary, you can measure the time once. If there are no showers at work, soap, washcloths and a small towel should not be missing. In the toilet, you can then clean up with the cat wash before you slip back into your work clothes.
Before you start at full throttle, let yourself run in for a few minutes. You can also step in place with your knees drawn in towards you, or do a couple of jumping jacks. A short warm-up prepares muscles, tendons and ligaments for the upcoming stress. But stretching exercises should be avoided, because if you stretch without being warmed up, you risk injuries.
Beginners or those returning to the sport should not overdo it with jogging. The big magic word is regularity. It is better to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes two to three times a week than for 90 minutes once in two weeks. For more endurance, the units can then be systematically extended by a few minutes.
Moving break with hula hoop
Since the pandemic, hula hoops have been very popular again. Although it seems playful, the Hullern is an effective break workout: In order for the tire to stay up, it has to be moved out of the tense stomach. The better you succeed, the more the smaller, deeper abdominal muscles are used – and in addition to the buttocks and thighs, the muscles along the spine are also used. This can relieve and prevent back and neck pain. In addition, digestion and fat burning are stimulated.
All you need for the trend sport is a stable, not too heavy hula hoop and clothing that fits as closely as possible. Then just stand hip-width apart, tense your torso, place the tire horizontally on the floor at your waist and swing it so that it circles around the level of your belly button. Move your pelvis back and forth or left and right. The belly will stay firm when you pull your belly button inward while hulling.
Also practice circling in both directions so as not to train the muscles on one side. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you should slowly increase to 30 minutes at a time. This allows the skin to get used to the stress and reduces the risk of bruising. Advanced users can incorporate further variations, such as turning in a circle, varying the speed, doing lollipops on one leg or doing squats. This increases the consumption of calories, promotes coordination and is fun – and that shouldn’t be neglected during the active break.
Rely on company sports
In order to get more exercise during the breaks, employers can do something for their employees by organizing company sports. The active cooperation increases the team spirit and of course promotes the health of the employees. Likewise, fitness grouches can be more easily motivated by group dynamics.
Whether yoga, qigong, functional training, back training, table tennis or running – the possibilities are diverse and should be based on the interests of the staff. The company can support such initiatives by, for example, providing a space for sports or equipment such as exercise mats or thera bands. There are also certified sports or health professionals who come to the company and offer a small workout on site.
However, the current contact restrictions and distance regulations require a different approach. This succeeds with online offers or video conferences. Whether in the office or in the home office, staff can easily join in and join in. Nobody has the feeling of being isolated, but rather does something together with their colleagues. Digital sports breaks can also be carried out in remote mode.
Active breaks in mini format
The small interruptions in everyday office life are also important: complete small tasks while standing or pay your colleagues a personal visit to clarify things. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, wander around while talking on the phone, stretch yourself every now and then or do a little office exercise.
The 10-minute program for the back can be easily integrated into the office or home office – you don’t need any equipment. The focus is on exercises that mobilize the neck and shoulder area, loosen the chest muscles and strengthen the entire back. Tension in the neck, shoulders or back will soon be a thing of the past.
In addition, the Techniker Krankenkasse has put together three five-minute videos: The varied office gymnastics not only give the tense muscles a well-deserved relaxation, but also trains coordination and even improves eye mobility. At the same time, the movement gets the entire blood circulation going. This allows the brain to take in more oxygen, which increases concentration.
Knowledge to take away
In this country, 47.3 percent of the population work mainly sitting or standing; more than half would like more exercise in their everyday job. One solution is company sports. For this purpose, the company can organize space, equipment or an external sports or health professional. In order to comply with the corona rules, online offers or video conferences are a good implementation.
You can use the time during the lunch break not only for a walk, but also invest in a run. Hullern is less sweaty. The trend sport strengthens the stomach, back, buttocks and thighs, stimulates digestion and fat burning. You can also loosen up the tense muscles with a five- or ten-minute office gymnastics in between, strengthen your back and get your circulation going again.