Movement Breaks at Work
I was talking with a client the other day about taking movement breaks while doing computer work. She was lamenting that although she knows it doesn’t make her feel good to sit at her desk for long stretches she has a hard time remembering to get up once in awhile and stretch.
Enter – The Work Timer
The idea is that you set a timer when you start a work session. It should be from 25 to 45 minutes. At the end of that time a chime sounds and tells you it’s time to take a short break of about 3 to 5 minutes.
What my client discovered was that she could use the 25 minute timer as a reminder to transition her desk from sitting to standing and standing to sitting. You can also use the timer to help remind you to get up and move around the room. You could create a sequence of simple exercises that you do at each break interval. For example: lunges with each leg, shoulder rolls, a neck roll, side bends to each side and a forward bend.
Stay with something simple that can be done in work attire and takes no more than 5 minutes to complete. If you follow the same routine each time you won’t have to expend energy deciding what movements to do, though you can change your routine periodically. You could even throw in some mindful breathing while focusing on something that you find happy and uplifting so it becomes a mental break as well.
You can find a free work timer Here. This timer is already set up to run four, 25 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks and then a ten minute break. You can adjust all of the intervals in Settings.
You might feel tempted to ignore the timer when it goes off. Sometimes we worry that we won’t be able to get back to our train of thought. While a lot of interruptions divert our attention to another problem, this is different. This diverts you to a moment of rest and renewal that is more likely to increase your energy and focus for the task at hand.
How about deciding to try it every time you’re at your desk this coming week and honoring the timer each time it goes off?