Focus can be such a great thing once you achieve it, especially when you are working at your desk and you have settled into a groove and gained the most amazing unbreakable focus on that project you’ve been working on. Are you picturing it!!! You are in your zone, your head forward and down, your shoulders are set in position, and you are plugging away on that keyboard, getting all of this great data inputted where it needs to go. But wait!!! You’ve been in that same position for going on 3 hours now, you haven’t stopped to even take a sip of water for crying out loud! 3 hours!! Your joints are stuck in that same position for all of that time. Oh noooo, you are so stiff, and what’s more, You don’t even realize what stress you have put on your joints and muscles. So, let’s stop, stand, and deliver some much needed stretches to your body.
I know it’s hard to break when you are on such a good roll, but you have to learn to stop for stretch breaks. LeBron James has to stop for breaks when he’s playing a game, and he has a coach to ensure that he takes one even if he doesn’t request one himself. You have to be your own coach in your game, and maybe that means you set alarms for yourself to take these breaks. If you get into the habit of doing this, then it will become your thing.
Performing stretches that counter the position you have been stuck in for long periods of time will deter your joints from becoming cemented in those positions that tend to lead to joint pains and postural distortions. When we wake from a night of sleeping, most of us automatically go into counter stretches as we are waking up. This is our body’s natural response to being in one position for a long time. It is your job to offer this same counter stretching to your body after periods of time at your desk, or assembly line, or a few good and hard workouts. Taking a break to stretch gives your muscles and joints relief and a chance to unload and reset. If you don’t know exactly what stretches to do, a good rule of thumb is to place the joint in the opposite direction that it has been in for the period of time you were focused on your project, and hold that stretch for 30 seconds (repeat the holding 2 more times). So, stand, and deliver your body some much deserved stretching (take a stretch break after every 2 to 3 hours). Oh, and drink some water while you’re at it!!
Stand and deliver,