Active Breaks in the Workplace
Breaks are a necessity in our high paced, technology driven world we currently live in. I recall my first week with an office job, sitting in front of a computer screen (or two) staring at information and processing it for two sets of four hours with a one hour break for lunch, my eyes literally ached.
We’ve all heard the facts about how we need to get up for 10-15 minutes every hour, for certain health benefits; better blood circulation, avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, combat possible depression, relieve stress on the eyes from the monitors, increased concentration and increased productivity.
[during safety training]
Toby: One thing you’re going to want to look out for is carpal tunnel syndrome, so it’s recommended that you take a ten minute break from typing every hour. For your circulation, um, you’re gonna wanna get up out of your chairs and move around about ten minutes every hour.
Michael Scott: Yes. Good. Fine. Like stretching.
Toby: Um, yeah. Your computer screen can be a big strain on your eyes, so it’s also recommended that you step away for about 10 minutes every hour.
Michael Scott: Wow. That time really adds up. Like a half an hour every hour?
Darry: Take them at the same time!
Instead of using your break time to smoke a cigarette, there are several other active breaks you can take that will have a more positive impact on your health, both mental, and physical.
- Take a Walk – Many people have never explored the area around their office. If you’re fortunate, you have a great scenic area to explore such as Annapolis, MD. Obvious health benefits, light cardio exercise, increased blood flow, and can help clear your mind.
- Stretch – Indoor or outdoor to get some extra Vitamin D. Dual purpose, blood circulation, and avoiding seasonal depression disorder.
- Workout! – Have a gym nearby? See if you can adjust your schedule to take the extra time needed to work out in a BootCamp or Crossfit class. Come back to work energized and ready to tackle those 20 emails ;).
- Public Transportation – It sounds unconventional, but the additional walking and time will give you time to think, or even meet a deadline if necessary.
- Office Games – We’re fortunate here at Liquified Creative to have an ping pong table. While some games can be tame, come can get quite competitive and really get your blood flowing. Nothing sparks creativity like getting up, moving around and energizing your body and you mind. In a more casual environment, a basketball hoop, even a Nerf, would be a welcome addition to the office.
Legal disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, not even a health professional, take the above as suggestions and do some of your own research to discover what you can do in your own environment to benefit your mental and physical health while also having a positive impact on your productivity.