How to reduce muscle tension at work

The creeping, nagging muscle tension that occurs while sitting at the computer affects us all. So we change our posture, change from sitting to standing, add lumbar supports,  try foam rolls, and use postural support contraptions. Sometimes these tools help but often it doesn’t. What else is there?

This video offers a different perspective in what drives muscle tension. Note, it’s not the muscle.

The 3 ares you can target instead are the eyes, body movement, and breathing because each offers an entry point into the autonomic nervous system.

For example, constant focus of the eye stimulates the brain to be in action mode. Hopping from computer to phone to computer to phone all day overstimulates the eyes and brain and feeds into the sympathetic (fight or flight) system. This constant frenzy of our eyes and mind at work causes “screen apnea”, in which breathing ceases while working in front of an electronic screen. 

In contrast, human eye contact (even through a video screen) and laughter have both been shown to activate the parasympathetic (rest or digest) nervous system. This is the system we want activated in order for the body to unwind and reduce persistent muscle tension. Listen to the video to learn simple tools to unwind the body without losing productivity when working on a screen.



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