I’ve had a pseudo-joke email floating around with a few coworkers during the past few years about various desk stretches, which we call deskercises. Some include instructions that are ridiculous for the office and give us a good laugh. The majority, however, are practical tips to get your blood flowing and your mind clear in the time-frame of a reasonable work break.
Work-related stress can be one of the toughest forms of stress to deal with because so often it seems completely outside of our control. I love my job, yet find that at times the sheer amount of work to do becomes overwhelming, or that I’m focusing on it so much that I’ve become literally numb. I often get writers block at this point, and the only thing that helps is getting up, walking around and stretching.
This routine is two to three minutes. Combined with a bathroom break and a trip to the water cooler, a ten-minute break is all that I need to complete this and be back on track with the job at hand. Conversely, if I begin checking the news aimlessly or working on something entirely new, I lose track of my place in the assignment that I had frustrated me and ultimately spend much more time getting caught up on it later.
Sometimes just taking a five minute break to go to the bathroom and grab some water or tea is also enough to refresh my mind. Such five-minute breaks are indeed proven to improve overall worker efficiency in a relatively recent study. They also resulted in employee relaxation, especially reducing eyestrain.
Though some may look silly, many desk stretches can be done relatively inconspicuously at your workstation. Besides, even if your boss wonders what you’re up to, you can explain that they’re a win-win strategy for your productivity and health!