These gymnastics can be done by anyone who works at a desk, who uses a keyboard, typewriter or screen-based equipment, who sits in a chair or a car for long periods of time. Anyone who works in a posture that requires prolonged use of the shoulders and arms, typically experiences pain arising from joint stiffness, muscle weakness and tightness.
Unlike other exercise programs, these pause gymnastics combat specifically work-related symptoms. These symptoms are the aches and pains commonly associated with poor posture, poor work techniques and repetitive work.
These exercises prepare the muscles for work, in the same way that an athlete warms up to prevent injury. If it is done regularly, pause gymnastics contribute to the fitness of muscles in fingers, arms, shoulders, neck and back.
Many companies are introducing pause gymnastics as part of an overall occupational health and safety program. Pause gymnastics are effective in reducing the incidence of symptoms of persistent discomfort or pain in muscles, tendons and other soft tissues collectively referred to as Occupational cervico-brachial disorder (OCD); musculo-skeletal injuries and disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and cumulative trauma disorder ; repetition strain injury (RSI). In many countries, notably Sweden and Japan, pause gymnastics have been part of the normal work day for some time.
The exercises are based on an understanding of the human body and how it works most efficiently. Incidentally, pause gymnastics provide a new look at what constitutes productivity. The discipline required to sit and work for long periods might be exemplary but it is not necessarily productive. Rather, short and regular exercise work breaks (“pause gymnastics”) which reverse the negative effects of inefficient work postures make for increased productivity. Pause gymnastics are been good for you, improve your concentration and help you to relax and enjoy your work more.
Specifically, pause gymnastics benefit the following
anyone sitting at a desk
anyone using screen-based equipment.
All the groups mentioned above, however, have problems in common and should perform pause gymnastics regularly.
When you sit or stand for prolonged periods it is easy to settle into an unbalanced , or inefficient, working posture — one in which your body is continually stressed and in which your muscles are straining . Some parts of your body are cramped and others are stretched. Like, if your head is tilted to the right side, the structures on the left of your neck are stretched while the muscles, ligaments and joints on the right are shortened or compressed.
When these awkward and unbalanced positions are maintained for more than a couple of hours on a regular basis, such as at work, permanent lengthening or shortening of the structures involved may occur. Pain is often the consequence.
Those who should not do pause gymnastics
It is advisable to be reviewed by a doctor or physiotherapist before commencing pause gymnastics, particularly if you have any discomfort or symptoms or, for example, any history of neck injury or disease, or if you are pregnant. If no serious problem is detected, these exercises should prevent injury or provide rapid and considerable relief from the symptoms which typically develop as a result of maintaining prolonged working postures, if the exercises are performed regularly and correctly.
The uses of regular exercise during work breaks are
Improve circulation (this removes waste products from the muscles).
Stretch tight muscles.
Strengthen weak muscles.
Decrease muscle fatigue and tension.
Increase alertness and concentration (and therefore improve the quality of your work).
Improve social contacts at work (where the exercises are done in groups).
Improve body awareness (and so avoid bad postural habits).
Improve your attitude to your work.
Pause gymnastics helps to keep your body structures balanced and flexible.