I believe everyone of us is in the exact same situation – on the desk, sitting for hours, day after day. Without a break though something strange happens to our bodies and brains. According to a research made with 17 000 canadians the risk of cancer and cardiovascular system problems raise dramatically after sitting for hours in a row. Also, our brain starts sending harmful signals and the genes regulating the fat and glucose begin to shut down… The result – we feel sick, tired and fat.
The good news – all you need to do is take a break and there are quite a few programs out there that help you do that. Deo is using one for a couple of months now and he was pushing me to use it as well almost every day. But, what can I say, I’m a stubborn girl, in good condition and I thought I don’t need a break by the minute and I’m perfectly capable of deciding when to make a break by myself. A couple of months passed by, and then my back started to hurt a little, I felt tension in the shoulders and my eyes became dry. And just then I realized that I’m perfectly un-capable of taking breaks on my own and tried the program. But not without some research first…
What I figured out was that taking small breaks during the day can help you incredibly. The average time after which you really need a break is 20-40 minutes max and the break should be at least 5-10 minutes. Which brought me back to my school years where the classes were indeed 40 minutes each and it was the optimal time for the students to stay still and pay attention.
The benefits from those small but significant breaks might be even greater, if you use them the right way. So, here is what you can do to help your muscles, brain and eyes relax…
~ Stretch out. Your back, neck and shoulders will thank you for that, trust me.
~ Look through the window or the balcony, for as far as the horizon goes. It’s great for your eyes, especially after staring at monitors, books or documents for the day.
~ Listen to some relaxing music or the sounds of nature. Researchers found that cognitive performance improves after the nature break.
~ Meditate. Or just stay still without doing anything.
~ Take a bigger break at least once a day and walk, preferably in the nature, the nearest park, forest or a quiet neighborhood street for 10-30 minutes. You can also do that on your way home if it’s impossible during work hours. Studies show that your mood will improve dramatically after such walk, even if you don’t enjoy the walk itself.
What you should not do during those breaks… go for a smoke, drink a cup of coffee, read, even if it’s your favorite magazine, talk to someone, especially about work or do any kind of work whatsoever.
It is your own time. Embrace it and help your body and mind relax.