Spending 8 or 9 hours each day at a desk isn’t easy on the body, but there’s a lot that taking breaks can do to ease the burden. Buying an ergonomic keyboard, using a standing desk, and exercising regularly can all help cut down on discomfort and pain, keeping you productive the whole day through.
Still, you’ll take those productivity rates up even further just by doing one simple thing: taking more breaks. As it turns out, the human body just wasn’t made to work for hours on end without a moment to rest. Stopping to break will help your body and your mind reset, giving you the energy and the perspective you need to power you through the rest of your day.
A few different kinds of breaks you should consider taking:
1) Eye Breaks
Staring for too long at a screen puts you at high risk of developing Computer Vision Syndrome, which can cause blurred vision, dry, red and itchy eyes, headaches, and even neck and back problems. You’re at greater risk if you’re already nearsighted, have astigmatism or are over 40, as your lenses are far less flexible than they once were. Stopping every 15 minutes or so to focus your eyes on a distant point will work your eye muscles in a different way, helping to prevent strain.
2) Stretch Breaks
Similarly, muscles throughout your musculoskeletal system fatigue after too much repetitive use, especially as you type and use your mouse. And if you’re sitting down, it’s likely you’ve got a computer hunch going as well, which can be damaging to your back and neck. To prevent both of these things, take a break every 45 minutes or so to stretch your muscles in a manner counter to the way you’ve just been using them. This will get the blood flowing to new regions, and it will also prevent injury from overuse.
3) Rest Breaks
Every 45 minutes or so, make sure you’re getting up to just chill out, whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee, having a chat in the break room, or just taking a leisurely walk around the building. Letting your mind drift freely will help you relax and reset, getting you ready for the rest of the day to come.
Interested in this issue? Learn my by reading the following article, Work Station Ergonomics: Take a Break.