Work breaks are important to your health and to your work performance.
If you are unemployed and in a career search, keeping yourself healthy while experiencing the added stress of looking for a job is critical to keeping up your self-confidence and maintaining a strong self-image.
Even if you workout before or after work and then work at a desk, you may find that your desk job can reduce the fitness gains from those workouts.
The Department of Labor provides a list of minimum paid rest periods by state for every four hours of work. Most states require companies to give employees a paid 10-minute break for each four hours of work.
If you are a desk worker, taking 10 minutes every four hours is probably less physical activity than you need to receive the physical benefits your body needs from sitting for several hours.
Here are some ideas that can help you refresh your mind, get a little exercise during the day, and stay within your company guidelines for the time you are allowed to take breaks:
- When you are rearranging things on your desktop, stand up.
- When you are talking on the phone, stand up.
- When you are returning or retrieving things from your desktop to your desk drawers, stand up.
- While you are working at your desk, tighten your stomach, leg, chest, shoulder, ankles, feet and neck. Roll your ankles. Arch your back. Stretch your arms.
- As you pause from typing or when you are on the phone, roll your neck.
- When typing, stand up, keep your back straight, and type standing or do a little squat and type squatting.
Some of these suggestions may seem to you as odd at first. Yet, if you think about it, cashiers work with keypads while standing. Retail buyers walk aisles with keypad ordering systems. Some companies provide motorized desks that workers raise and lower during the day. Typing while standing is not that unique of an idea.
For those paid breaks away from your desk, leave the screens at your desk. Give your mind a chance to rest completely. Take a walk. Join a co-worker, even if that meeting is a standing session outside the office doors.
What ideas do you use to help yourself become more effective and healthy at work?
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