Our bodies are made to move - Use the 30/30 Rule

You know that painful feeling you have in your legs after you’ve been watching TV for a while, with your feet up on the coffee table, and then you try to get up to go to the bathroom? Your knees are super stiff and painful as you try to bend again! Or how about neck pain after a long day staring at your computer? Yeah all of that’s no fun.

Our bodies are made to move. If we stay in one position for too long, the body starts to have some stiffness and pain. If we do this frequently over time, the pain can linger longer and become more difficult to manage. Eventually, it can progress to the point that it limits our daily and recreational activities.



This is especially important to recognize for those of us that work in a more sedentary line of work, like desk jobs. Desk jobs often entail a lot of sitting with poor posture as people work. By the end of the day, necks, low backs, wrists etc. hurt.


There are many different theories about the best position or posture to hold while working, sitting, or doing daily tasks. Among the variety of suggestions, a mantra that is good to follow is, “the best posture/position to be in is the next one.” This suggests that if any posture is maintained for too long, it can cause problems, so it is best to keep moving. Even good posture, if held too long, can become uncomfortable. Thus, it is best to keep the body moving and not sit in one position too long.


How do we do this? We can follow the 30/30 rule. The 30/30 rule simply means that about every 30 minutes we get up and move for 30 seconds. Implementing this helps prevent any position from being maintained for an excessive amount of time. It promotes blood flowing to tissues and helps us stay comfortable and mobile.


But what should we do during the 30 seconds we’re trying to move? Try out reversals! Meaning, whatever posture you have been sitting in, try and stretch into the opposite direction. Oftentimes, that means standing up, leaning backwards, stretching arms up and behind you, and stretching the neck. It is good to hold the stretches for 10-30 seconds in a slow, consistent hold, rather than bouncing into the stretch.


One way to make sure you get your 30/30 in is to set a timer on your watch or phone. Each time it goes off, you get up and do reversals for a quick 30 seconds. For some people, every 30 minutes may be too frequent and will disturb their work flow. Modifying it to something like a 60/60 could work too. Each hour get up and go for a little walk to the water fountain and do some stretching. If you don’t like the timer idea, try a different way to implement the same idea, such as doing a quick reversal after reading and responding to an email or finishing a task. If you listen to the radio at work, commercial breaks can also be great cues to monitor your posture and body position.


Whether it’s a 30/30 or a 60/60, either way, your body will thank you as you keep moving throughout your day.


--- Clark Day, DPT 

Posted by isabellesiegrist at 7/10/2023 2:53:00 PM
Comments (0)
No comments yet, login to post a comment.