Get Up and Move!

| July 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Importance of Regular Breaks When You Work from Home

When you work from home, it’s easy to lose track of time and find you’ve been sitting hunched at your desk for hours on end. People who work in an office have all sorts of opportunities to get up and move, and some employers actively encourage staff to take a five-minute break and stretch their legs once every hour.

Prolonged periods of sitting still can cause all sorts of problems, both physical and mental. Back pain from a poor sitting posture, strained eyes from too much screen time or a ‘numb bum’ are among the most common complaints, but too much sitting around can also lead to weight gain and a higher risk of developing diabetes or heart problems.

Improve your physical health

Work in an office, and the chances are you’re back and forth to the kitchen for a brew or up and down the stairs on your lunch break or to meetings. Working from home, the time can slip away from you when you’re absorbed in a task. You may find you look up at the clock and you’ve been in the same position for several hours.

Most employers recommend you take five minutes of exercise every hour and follow the 20-20-20 rule for your eyes, meaning you should look away from the screen every twenty minutes to focus on something twenty feet away for twenty seconds. Taking regular breaks has also been proven to improve productivity because a change of scene and a little time to switch-off will leave you feeling more refreshed when you come back to work.

Stretch your legs more!

It might be worth setting down a rule that you stretch your legs every hour, on the hour. If you think you’ll struggle to remember or might lose track of time, you could try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you and prompt you to get up and move about.

It could be as simple as strolling to the kitchen and getting a cuppa or heading out into the garden to water the plants. Whatever you do with your mini-break from the home office, a little time out and gentle exercise has to be better than long stretches stuck at your desk.

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About the Author ()

A former vice president of a major US Bank, Greg Beacher graduated from the University of Luton/Bedfordshire in 1998 as a mature student. Since then he has gained over 20 years experience in Software Development encompassing development, project and programme management, test, environment and release management. Greg is an advocate of Continuous Integration, Agile Development, and DevOps. Greg currently operates his own freelance software development business working with companies of all sizes and also is a consultant visiting lecturer at the university that taught him so many years ago. Greg is part of the Industry Advisory Board helping the University maintain the high quality of under-graduate and post-graduate courses they provide.

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