Working is a part of life and that means sitting is a part of life. Most jobs have gone digital and require sitting in front of a computer for hours on end. Furthermore, most individuals do not take breaks during the workday and work through their lunch breaks.
Did you know that it is actually detrimental to your health if you dont take breaks during your work hours? SmallBusiness.chron.com (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-employee-breaks-40680.html) says that the American Journal of Epidemiology conducted a recent survey. It concluded that individuals who sit longer than six hours per day, can cause the individuals to be 18 times more likely to suffer from heart disease, obesity, and diabetes than someone who sits for less than three hours per day. The simple act of getting up and stretching for 5 minutes each hour is beneficial. Youre stretching out kinks in your legs, back, and shoulders, as well as moving around.
The survey also suggests that looking at the computer screen for extended periods of time can also strain your eyes. You may want to purchase a Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector to protect your eyes. If your employer doesnt have one, you can buy one from any office supply store. If you are not sitting in an ergonomic chair, this will add to the deterioration of your health. For more information on this subject, see the previous post, How to Be the Healthiest Worker in the Office (https://www.physicalrehabstl.com/how-to-be-the-healthiest-worker-in-your-office-part-1/).
So, what kind of breaks should you take and what does that look like? Most employers offer a 10-15-minute break every four to five hours. If you work eight hours or more, you are entitled to a 30-60-minute lunch break. There are many benefits to taking a break from your work desk. And even if you dont sit at a desk all day, taking a break is still helpful because it gives you a chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of the workday.
It is a good idea to take a break from a stressful situation. The human brain can only absorb so much information and can become overwhelmed. When youre overwhelmed with a task at work, how do you handle it? Do you tend to overreact and have a negative attitude towards your co-workers or your clients? Taking a short break will help you not only clear your mind, but also put the problem in perspective and help problem-solve where necessary. If you need to, make a quick call to a friend to vent and gain some insight. Now, when you return to your desk, your mind will have new information and renewed creativity to tackle the situation.
PsychologyToday.com is an excellent resource when it comes to different break ideas and their benefits. Here are some that are mentioned on their website:
- Change your atmosphere even if you work in the city or a busy section of town, walk around the block and take in some different sites other than your office.
- Take your lunch break – eat a nutritious lunch or snack to help you recharge your system. Eating some protein and fruit or vegetables is ideal because the protein will fill you and you wont feel hungry the remainder of the day.
- Take a walk and connect with nature walk to the park, lake, or bay. Maybe your office is close to a nature trail. Close your eyes while you sit on the bench and listen to the birds and water lap the shore.
Ferris Jabr wrote an article in the Scientific American and stated that
Downtime replenishes the brains stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday lifemoments of respite may even be necessary to keep ones moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.
Research supports these findings, and more information can be found at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers.