The Mini Breaks
The Power of short breaks during the day
Our life is running in a sedentary mode, while the human body and its physiology is still that of the hunter-gatherers – the product of an evolutionary process lasting millions of years. Men and women back then (and some indigenous people still) had to be on the move daily to have a meal and if they wanted to survive.
Today we get up in the morning. Have breakfast. Hop in our cars, take the bus or the train and head out to work. Sitting. In the office we spend hours sitting until lunch, then we go out and have our meals. Sitting, again. Back in office we sit in our chairs, once more, and when work is finely done we head home, in our cars, taking the bus or train, and you know what comes next : Yes, sitting, again. After dinner, what are we up to? Watch TV or even open your laptop, again, to finish this or that...sitting again... !!
It all sounds a bit exaggerated, but statistically we sit for an average of 10 hours a day, this time accumulates more than 16 years of non-stop-sitting during a 40-year professional career ! To be clear : We really do not do ourselves a favour with this!
Physical inactivity is not only linked to certain cardiovascular diseases, the development of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and may not only contribute to depression : The more or less static posture during sitting with constant pressure on the intervertebral discs and the lack of activity and thus decreased blood circulation in our muscles can cause undue strain, tightness, pain and even injuries in the neighbouring joints, respectively discs. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers, just like a sponge and they take up nutrients during a cycle of compression and release, only.
We should get more activity in our lives, literally ! This is how you can improve your performance and thus satisfaction, commitment and enthusiasm for your worklife with a simple action:
Focusing on your daily work in the office : Try to implement regular short breaks in your operations ! Every 90 minutes or so take a break of 3-5 minutes ! If you spend it effectively you can get up to 70% of your energy back, which helps you to continue working more efficiently and more competently and ending your day with being less tired or even worn-out.
The self-selected break moments are the most effective, while work interruptions caused by others can cause negative stress.
So you choose the right moment !
Walk around a bit, go outside the door and sniff a breeze of fresh air, socialise with your colleagues and … boost the energy of your body and brain even more by giving yourself another nice treat : Have a piece of fruit or vegetable or a protein-rich snack. This will provide your body and brain with some more slow-resorbing sugar, amino acids, vitamines and minerals and thus it will give your power curve a significant upward swing. Try to avoid refined sugar and think about drinking enough water throughout the day.
These mini breaks for body and mind, spread out over the day, will help you to continue working more efficiently and more competently. And this may create more satisfaction, commitment and enthusiasm for your work life.
Your muscolo-skeletal-system and your intervertebral discs will benefit in any case. That is a fact ! But also know : Dynamic sitting, stretching exercises and walking around does not fill the need for regular physical activity, respectively sports !
Get active ! It is your choice !