For those of us with office-based jobs, sitting in front of our computer screens for 8-10 hours is an everyday occurrence. Most of us accept this as normal and don’t make efforts to change it. We simply get on with it. However, the reality is that this way of working can be incredibly unhealthy. Regardless of whether you love your work or not, humans were simply not meant to sit still for 8 hours a day.
Of course, it can be easier said than done when it comes to taking breaks as and when you want one, but it can be something you incorporate into your normal routine with a little persistence and planning on your part.
“I’m fine, I don’t need a break”
Ever felt like you weren’t tired until your head hit the pillow and you were out like a light? The same often happens with breaks. We tend to buckle down and bed in at work, so much so that we don’t entertain the thought of downing tools for a while. Then, when we actually do go for a break, we realise just how much we needed it.
If we don’t take it a bit easier from time to time, we run a very real risk of getting burned out. Taking breaks helps to maintain, and even improve productivity, not to mention the associated health benefits.
What can you do for a break at work?
Go out for your lunch.
We’ve all done it, and perhaps some of us do it everyday, but sitting at your desk holding a sandwich in one hand and typing away with the other is not a break, and it is a habit that needs to be broken immediately. Whenever you can, leave the office for your lunch. Go sit in a park or eat at a café or restaurant. It be may be more effort but it’s important enough to be worth it. If you’re that busy at work that you can’t spare your lunch times then there are other issues you may need to address.
Talk to your colleagues.
Chaining yourself to your desk for 8 to 10 hours a day can mean that the social aspect of your working suffers. It’s crucial to nurture the social aspect of working life in order to stay happy in your job, but it’s also a great opportunity to take a break. Now, we’re not suggesting you go and pester your fellow colleagues mid-call or while engrossed in spread sheets, but by picking your moments and simply chatting over a coffee in the kitchenette, you can have a decent break away from your desk.
Go for a stroll.
It’s not just your mind that needs a change of pace during a working day. You also need to get your body out of that chair and moving around. At work, unless you’re lucky enough to have the use of a company gym or pool, a walk will suffice. Even a short walk can make a big difference.
We spend a huge amount of time at work during our lives, which makes it easy to get into an unhealthy routine and stick to it. By getting into the habit of changing things up and altering your routine, you can dramatically improve every day of your working life.