It’s only natural to forget to take breaks, leave alone skipping meals and social activities when an overdue deadline comes knocking. We live in a fast-paced world, with equally nerve-wracking personal and career targets. So it’s common to find yourself glued behind your computer for over thirteen hours trying to beat a client’s fast approaching schedule. It happens, and sadly to most if not all of us. But do we really know the adverse risk we shoulder by leading such a sedentary lifestyle?
In a society where time management is becoming an increasingly rare skill-set, a little insight on the importance of short and periodic breaks from your desk could go a long way.
Here are some of the most significant.
1) Prolonged sitting impairs blood circulation and predisposes you to stroke and lifestyle related illness
According to leading physiotherapists, sitting in a static position (even with an ergonomic chair) for over four hours per day increasing the risk of stroke and neural impairment by over 35%. Given that blood circulation slows down considerably during such a spell, as a result, most of the brain tissues tend to suffer acute oxygen undernourishment. This explains the weariness and fatigue typically experienced after long hours of sitting behind a computer screen.
2) Without intermittent breaks, the productivity and quality of your work slowly declines
Studies show that employees who take breaks, albeit short ones while working are generally more productive that those who rarely do so. That refreshing 15-minute walk from your desk is likely to help you more in beating a deadline, than an hour of weariness and fatigue. Therefore, remember that the renewed vigor and zeal that follows after a short recession, could provide the much-needed impetus to work faster and better.
3) Reduced depression and stress levels
We are all familiar with the tension and sweaty palms that characterize an imminent and menacing tight schedule. We mostly respond by dropping everything else and concentrating on the task at hand. Sooner or later, we slowly but surely neglect other aspects our lives. The end result is usually a dysfunctional lifestyle and a messed up social or family life. A short break from your computer to play with your son could be all he needs to feel a motherly or fatherly presence.
4) Taking a breather reduces chances of burnout and exhaustion
The reason why Monday nights appear the longest is because we mostly spend the day rushing to complete assignments, handover projects and submit weekly goals. By the end of the day, we’re severely exhausted to even sleep comfortably. Similarly, working continuously without even breaking for coffee or lunch easily leads to burnout, exaction, and badly strained muscles.
5) Keeps heart risks at bay
90% of cardiovascular illnesses are a result of sedentary lifestyles. You don’t need an expensive gym membership at a high-end resort to exercise regularly to avoid such terminal diseases. A simple 20-minute jog or walk during a grueling 9-hour shift is sufficient to keep the blood flowing normally.
Your work is important, but your health is even more important. Get into a habit of learning to consistently take breaks regardless of how much work you have in front you.