Making time for movement during the workday is extremely important. The restrictions of this past year have meant that many of us have spent less time moving our bodies. We might even forget to take desk breaks all together.
For those working at a desk (or at a makeshift equivalent at home!), prolonged periods of time sitting and staring at a screen can have a lasting effect on our mental and physical health. This is why at Connected Chiropractic we believe it’s important to take regular ‘desk breaks’.
Desk breaks are any movement which gets you up and moving. They do not have to be long, nor does the movement have to be strenuous, although they should be taken as often as possible. There are many scientific reasons demonstrating why taking short desk-breaks is beneficial to both our spines and our minds!
Here are our top five tips on how to incorporate desk breaks into your working day:
1. Take walking meetings
Have a phone call planned? Take time to prepare beforehand and then take them on the go. This is a brilliant way to get some light exercise and fresh air into your workday, and leaves you feeling refreshed when you return to your desk. Your eyes will also thank you for the break from the screen!
2. Use them to break up large stretches of work
Desk breaks are not only beneficial for our physical health, but can have a positive impact on our cognitive function. Studies have shown that taking short and regular breaks helps us to process and retain information, and even increase our productivity and creativity. So if you have a big project you are working on, why not schedule regular desk breaks to give your brain that well-needed reboot?
3. Take your lunch break away from your desk
Using the opportunity to take a longer desk break from your workstation can be very valuable. Eating your lunch away from your desk allows you to get in some light movement and enjoy different surroundings. This allows you to come back to work feeling refreshed and focused.
4. Drink more water – yes, really!
Whilst drinking more water might not seem like it would have a huge effect on your overall health, it is a very good way of ensuring that you are getting up from your desk regularly.
Even if it’s just for bathroom breaks and water bottle fill-ups, every little helps. This method is particularly helpful if you have trouble remembering to take breaks. It also keeps you hydrated – win-win!
5. Schedule stretch breaks
If you usually spend your whole day at a desk, scheduling desk breaks will help you to incorporate some movement into your day.
You can set reminders on your phone at regular intervals (for example, every 30 minutes) to help keep you on track. Doing 30 seconds of stretching or a quick lap around your workspace can do wonders for your wellbeing in the long term. Here are 8 simple stretches to relieve back tension.
There is no right or wrong way to take a desk break. Remember to move in whatever way feels right for you, and let us know if you try any of our tips!
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