(Young Voices Speak is eaglenews.ph’s blank space for the youth to share their opinions, views, and perspective on any topic, issue, or matter)
By Precious Joshua Corpuz
Young Voices contributor
Ever heard of a standing break?
Businesses tend to have a fast-paced environment. Employees have little time to take breaks, and when they do, they sometimes don’t get to enjoy it. This can be a hazardous practice. Employee breaks are important for various reasons.
By now, many of us know the damage we’re doing in sedentary desk jobs. Emerging research shows that sitting for long periods of time contributes to risk of metabolic syndrome, heart attack and stroke risk and overall death risk, among others. Those who sit a great deal of time also have lower life expectancies and slower metabolisms.
When you sit at a desk or on the couch for a long stretch, your body stops producing the chemicals it needs to digest sugars and fats. Consequently, circulation deteriorates. Sitting at your desk for a long time also exacerbates back pain. Your muscles take a break and allow your chair to support your upper body. This leads to compression within the chest and abdominal cavities, as well as slouching in the shoulders and spines.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued an order requiring employers to provide standing breaks for their workers whose jobs require sitting for long period of time.
“[Employers] must encourage workers to reduce sedentary work by interrupting sitting time and substitute it with standing and walking,” DOLE said.
Studies have shown that our bodies can benefit from simply standing up, contracting muscles, and moving. Think of standing as pushing a reset button on your body. If you press the reset button before the timer hits 20 minutes, you’ll avoid any of the negative side effects of a sedentary job.
Walking in between each work place injects multiple opportunities for movement into your day. Though you won’t be popping from station to station every 20 minutes, you can supplement the 20-minute rule with these popcorn intervals, helping you achieve more consistent movement throughout the day.
The same goes for those who stand while working. Standing still for long stretches will eventually lead to its own set of health problems; undue pressure on joints, for instance, so you’re better off swaying, rocking, and stretching while you stand.
Of course, daily exercise can help in many other ways and an active couch potato is better off than a regular coach potato. Yet it would appear that a chunk of exercise is not enough to counteract the effects of a sedentary job. Consistent, regular movement is best.
We all know how hard it is to work but let’s not make it a reason to neglect our health. A little break from time to time is important. Remember, that without proper health and fully functioning body, we won’t be able to do certain tasks.
Precious Joshua Corpuz is a 4th Year AB Mass Communications student in New Era University. Aside from games, he is also into cars.
(edited by Jay Paul Carlos, additional research by Vince Alvin Villarin)