Breaks are incredibly beneficial for your well-being. From reducing stress to boosting productivity, there are many ways taking regular breaks can help maintain and improve your mental and physical health.
In this blog, we’ll explore how taking a break from working at your desk can help you stay productive and healthy, and how to incorporate breaks into your daily routine.
The benefits of taking breaks
Data from our recent large cohort analysis reveals that those who don’t take regular breaks are 65% more likely to develop musculoskeletal issues like back pain than those who do.
Taking regular breaks is essential for preventing various joint and muscle pains which can develop as a result of repetitive tasks or prolonged sitting.
Breaks are just as important for your mental wellbeing as they are for your physical health. Stepping away from work, even for just a few moments, can help you reset your mind, clear your thoughts, and come back to work with a sharper focus. Regular breaks can prevent burnout, enabling you to be more productive and creative.
Strategies for taking breaks
If you want to reap the rewards of increased productivity and creativity, taking regular breaks during the workday is a must. A five-minute break every thirty minutes gives your mind and body a chance to reset and recharge.
A five-minute break at work is a great way to refresh and re-energise. Here are some ideas for how to make the most of them:
- Take a quick walk outside for some fresh air
- Get your blood pumping with short bursts of exercise
- Listen to a favourite song or podcast
- Stretch or meditate to relax your body and mind
- Call a friend or colleague to catch up
- Read a book or magazine article
- Make a cup of tea or coffee
Track your break
The Pomodoro technique is a good way to incorporate short, frequent breaks into your working day. This technique has been proven to improve focus, reduce procrastination and increase productivity.
Here’s how it works. First, decide on a task to be accomplished. Then, set a timer for 25 minutes and work on the task until the timer goes off. After that, take a short break (5 minutes is recommended). Finally, repeat this process until the task is completed. Click here to try the Pomodoro timer!
How to incorporate physical activity into your breaks
Taking active breaks throughout the day is a great way to stay fit, reduce pain, stiffness, and muscular imbalances and boost energy levels. Setting a 5-10 minute timer for breaks is an easy way to ensure that you get up and move periodically throughout your day.
Studies have shown that the increased blood flow from even just a few minutes of physical activity every half an hour can result in improved blood sugar levels and reduced cholesterol levels.
Ideas for incorporating movement into your daily routine:
- Light stretches
- Walk around the room
- Desk-based stretching exercises
- Walking meetings
- Create opportunities for walking, for example:
- Use stairs instead of taking lifts
- Take advantage of any designated fitness room at work and spend a few minutes stretching or doing a light exercise during your breaks
It’s easy to look after your physical health during your work breaks with VIDA Pain Coach. Our 5-minute stretching videos are the perfect way to stay active and healthy during the working day.