Movement Breaks


WHO? Group of school leaders aged 30 to 60-year-olds in administrative and desk-based jobs

WHAT? This movement sequence was designed to be performed regularly throughout the day. Must be suitable to perform in a suit, above the knee skirt and heeled shoes.

WHEN? After every 20-30min of sustained sitting Musculoskeletal benefits 40s (1round) to 120s (3rounds)

HOW? The sequence needs no equipment It ticks both the musculoskeletal and physiological box Targeting common musculoskeletal problems associated with sustained computer-based work. Targeting physiological detriment associated with prolonged sitting. Targeting common neural compression syndromes associated with prolonged desk-based postures

WHY? The variety in the sequence provides mobilisation and offload for multiple musculoskeletal structures.

Chair squat
A well-aligned chair squat is the most useful functional exercise. Control – Correct technique that keeps the knees in the line of the feet improves motor control around the pelvis that improve lumbar, pelvic and lower limb strength Circulation – Large lower limb muscle contraction promoted good circulation Strength – Muscle dependent technique ensures every chair squat contribute to strength

Calf Raise
Circulation – Lower limb muscle contraction improves circulation more with each repetition Balance – Up on toes, the reduced base of support challenges the balance and stimulates the neural system. Strength – Toes, arches of the feet and calf muscle will strengthen over time, reducing heel, Achilles and plantar fascia pain.

Median Nerve
Glide Mobility – By sliding the nerves, the effect of postural compression is reversed Offload – The accumulative effect of compression is felt in pins and needles or numbness. Every offload reduces harmful accumulation. Calming – Compression sensitises nerves which is first felt as pain. Movement begins immediate desensitisation.

Ulna Nerve
Glide Mobility – Forward head and shoulder posture, with sustained elbow and wrist position, leave the ulna nerve no wriggle room. Movement brings a welcome slide to the nerve Offload – Frequently reversing the posture of every joint the nerve crosses brings offload. Calming – Compression sensitises nerves which is first felt as pain. Movement begins immediate desensitisation.

Thoracic rotation
Neck – The thoracic spine is the foundation of the neck. Maintaining thoracic range is important for a healthy neck. Shoulder – The shoulder blade moves with the thoracic spine. Restoring mobility makes shoulder pain less likely. Posture – Thoracic rotation is the first movement to be lost with poor posture and ageing. Rotation practice, little and often is the antidote.

Single Leg
Low back – Single leg stands optimises muscle action on both sides of the low back. Control – Muscle control of the hip and pelvic floor is improved as single leg balance improves. Balance – Reducing base of support creates effective balance training.

Shoulder – Maintaining or improving overhead range is important for a healthy shoulder Upper Back – Overhead shoulder movement improve the muscles of the upper back Symmetry – Optimising symmetry between the dominant and non-dominant sides, has positive ramifications.

Over Reach
Trunk – Lengthening the distance between the shoulder and pelvis while balancing ticks many healthy movement boxes. Support – Muscle control through full range of movement optimises joint support. Symmetry – Nurture symmetrical mobility of the shoulder blade on the ribs. Good blade movement helps the neck, shoulder and upper back.

Fiona Pringle, Caitlyn Buchanan and Sangita Patel

Physiotherapists, Target Physio 07 3202 5216

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