It’s hard to stay 100% focused at work all the time. Especially when you hit that 2:00 pm slump and the day seems like it’s dragging on. Most people will just grab a coffee, energy drink, or sugary snack to keep them going. But what if there was a healthier and easier solution to this problem?
Increase Your Focus with Movement
A study done on increased productivity over a 6-month period at a call center showed that the employees spent up to 90% of their day sitting at their desks. Even if you don’t work at a call center, this statistic might mirror your day at work. This type of sedentary lifestyle is becoming more socially acceptable in the workplace. Of course, the easiest solution to this is to take a break to exercise. However, not everyone works at a huge company with an on-site gym.
Another alternative to this is to stand while you work. This is proven to be the most effective way to improve memory, focus, and your overall health while working. Research shows that standing desks can also improve your cognitive skills and that physical activity has substantial preventable and restorative properties for cognition and brain function. This includes adults and children. By using a standing desk, or by taking a movement break in your day, you can improve the way you work, your focus and performance.
What does “Movement Break” mean?
These are pretty much exactly what they sound like – a quick break in the workday to incorporate easy body movement. Stop reaching for blood pressure spiking caffeinated drinks or super sugary snacks to give you energy. Instead consider movement your new mid-day energizer. If you’re wondering how to incorporate these breaks without disrupting your productivity here are some tips.
Use your lunch break
Your lunch break can sometimes be the only moment you are away from your desk. After you eat, use the rest of your time to take a quick walk around the office. Even better, step outside to walk around the block. If you find yourself getting tired or distracted after lunch, take 5-10 minutes to stroll around the office. This can help revitalize your mind and give you a much-needed energy boost. If you think this won’t help you, consult famous authors. Henry David Thoreau, J.K Rowling, and Kurt Vonnegut are and were all known to take walks and exercise to stimulate their thoughts.
Stand Instead of Sit
Let’s say that you don’t have any extra time during the day. A way to work and move at the same time is to stand! Standing is a great substitution for physical movement as it will get your blood flowing and your mind out of the gutter. Movement is important in our lives as it keeps us focused, invigorated, and healthy.
Look for Movement Opportunities
There are opportunities for movement all around us. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator, walk over to your colleague’s desk instead of sending an email, or you could even have “walking meetings” with your team to create a movement based community in your office. Remove the trash can from your office space so you have to walk to toss things away. Have two restroom locations? Choose the one farthest away. If you look for these opportunities you can move all day, improving your focus as you go.
As you go through your workday, keep track of how you feel. If you’re feeling unfocused, tired, or unmotivated, find a way to take a movement break. Soon you’ll see how movement can positively affect your well-being in the workplace!