To Your Health: Take Stretch and Strength Breaks


Our bodies aren’t mean to be still for long periods of time, yet many of us sit for hours without getting up from a chair, so you may want to think about applying some daily stretch and strength exercises into your life.

Move Your Body

Sitting isn’t a problem in the short-term, but over long periods, prolonged stillness can lead to muscles tightening, fatigue, loss of focus and decreased productivity.

The idea is to pause for a stretch, a walk or anything else that clear the mind and moves the body.

Breaking for just two minutes a few times a day can bring physical and emotional results, including increased flexibility and stress reduction.

Think two of two

Aim for two separate, two-minute stretching or strengthening breaks throughout the day, ideally one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

Stretch and Strength Technique

What you do is less important that doing something. The idea is to disengage mentally from your work while you fully engage in something physical. Try different activities throughout the day, and try to get away from your workstation, even it’s just a few yards.

When stretching:

  • Do it gently
  • Hold each position for 10-30 seconds
  • Breathe normally
  • Never continue a stretch that causes pain or discomfort

Ideas for a two-minute break

  • Participate in a daily stretch session at your location
  • For core and lower body strengthening, perform lunges and squats.
  • For an upper body stretch, grab your arms behind your back and stretch, holding for 20 seconds.
  • Get up and take a water break
  • Walk up and down stairs
  • Step outside
  • Try toe raises, rising to the balls of your feet 8-12 times, while you’re waiting in the break room

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