Are Active Breaks Important in the Workplace?
Work Wellness

Are Active Breaks Important in the Workplace?

AutonomousAutonomous | Nov 1, 2021
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A lot of us stay seated for most of the day when we are at work. Even if we are comfortable, our body still requires some amount of activity in the form of movement. It’s essential for good health from a physical and psychological point of view. This is why it is important to take an active break while you work.

An active break refers to all of the relaxation or stretching exercises you could easily do at your desk. These exercises could be as long as 10 minutes and can be done every three hours or so. With regular practice, your body discharges stress and tiredness that’s accumulated from carrying out your responsibilities and even reactivates body and mind.     

Why Should We Take Active Breaks at Work?

Why Should We Take Active Breaks at Work

Carrying out these active exercise breaks at work improves your energy and productivity levels. Taking breaks at your desk has a great impact on your physical and mental health.  Quite often, we unknowingly skip out on breaks or don’t take too many of them.

Several chiropractors and orthopedics recommend the habit of physical activity breaks for anyone confined to sitting in their chair for most of the day. An active break at work aims to readjust the posture, spine, and hips frequently.

When we take on too much monotonous work, our mind begins to wander, and it lowers our creativity and overall productivity. This explains why we end up daydreaming, losing our focus, or browsing the web aimlessly.

Circulation

Blood circulation gets obstructed when you’re seated at your desk for too long. It is bad for your health and could lead to other conditions like acne, obesity, hair fall, bad concentration, cramps, sore muscles, and decreased metabolic rate. A direct result of improved circulation is improved physical health.

Stress management

Stress management with active break

The second outcome of active exercising in an active break is an increased ability to concentrate on tasks for longer. Your physical health takes a tool without appropriate stress control in the form of blood pressure, poor fitness, diabetes, bacterial infections, and decreased resistance to the virus.   

When you feel the stress building up, get up and stretch your muscles. Getting out of your office chair and the rigid sitting posture lets your mind calm down.

Lowered health risks

When you’re feeling stressed out, you end up feeling thirsty, hungry, and sleepy. As a result, you eat too many snacks, fried food, coffee and might even fall asleep at your desk! This habit of excess consumption might lead to heartburn, strokes, and higher cholesterol. The best way to stop it is to do a few stretching and breathing exercises. Otherwise, you could eat fruit at your desk.

Improved posture

Improved posture

Choose a chair for your home office that lets you keep your posture well balanced and upright. Without the right sitting position, you end up with stress on your muscles along your legs, neck, shoulder, back, and arms. 

How to Take Active Breaks at Work

When you’re trying to reach a tough challenge or handle deadlines, you begin to feel pressured. At this point, we force ourselves to concentrate till we feel fatigued. If you are too busy to take a small break, it’s a sign that you need to control overworking. Here are the top exercises you can do on your next active break.   

Walking

This is the best exercise to help you stay active at work and might only require your headphones when walking outside. Not only will you be clearing your mind, but you also get to activate the cramped muscles in your neck, back, legs and body.

Yoga

Yoga for active break

Yoga is a complete exercise regimen that includes breathing, stretching, and concentration or meditation for your active break. It has an immense impact on your mental health, and the rest of your body is done right. Several yoga routines and even active sitting show you how to release stress.    

Exercises for the shoulders and neck

The shoulders and neck are a trouble area, and it's where a lot of physical stress builds up. Choose some exercises that help you focus on them to relax them. Begin by massaging the upper region and back of the neck for 15 seconds using both hands. You could even try bending your head so that your chin touches your chest. Next, bring your chin down slightly and towards the right for 10 seconds. Do the same steps for the left side.

Another exercise for your active break that is easy to do helps you to prevent overloading your shoulders and avoid gradual fatigue. Place your hands on your shoulders and rotate them in large circles at the same time. Rotate each shoulder forward ten times and then backward.

A third exercise involves raising your shoulders as if you were shrugging them till they reach your ears. Raise both shoulders simultaneously and slowly till you feel the tension in your upper arms muscles. Maintain this position for five seconds, rest, and then repeat.

Leg exercises

Leg exercises for active break

Another important reason to take an active break is to stretch your legs and hips. Get up from your chair, and put your hands on your hips. Now keep your legs together. Move your left leg forward and then bring it back to the straight position again. Now list it up to the side while keeping your legs straight. Repeat the two routines on the other legs. Try not to move your back and hips too much. If possible, hold onto your desk or chair for support.

Switch to the stairs

It might not be possible to do yoga at your office or go for a walk when taking a break from work when required every time. Other times, you may not find the time to plan your break time management. In those cases, you could switch to using the stairs instead of the elevator. Going up or down the stairs is like an exercise and is very simple to do.

It helps you burn fat, keep your circulatory mechanism activated, and in turn, helps you avoid diseases. Do this regularly active break, and pretty soon, you will notice your muscles feeling more active, your mind will be clearer, and less susceptible to fatigue. Overall, your energy levels will be through the roof.    

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