I have been spending a lot of time lately sitting at the computer. Last week I redesigned the entire theme for this blog not once, but twice! It is likely that my computer time will be increasing as I continue to work on design and content for my new site. I think it is REALLY important that we all develop healthy habits around computer use. Last week my habits were not-so-healthy! So I have come up with eight computer break ideas that I will try out this week.
I recently read the Pomodoro Technique which outlines a way of working that is supposed to increase focus and flow. It basically involves single tasking on your work for twenty five minutes and then taking an enforced five minute break. So I was thinking that I might try a version of this but work for fifty minutes instead of twenty five and then take a ten minute break every hour.
Here are eight ten minute ideas that you can use for your next computer break to stay healthy and balanced!
1. Burpees! Set your phone timer for 5mins then do five minutes of non-stop burpees. Burpees are great to develop total body strength and work out all areas of your body including your core, abs, hamstrings, glutes, quads, chest and arms! If you struggle with five minutes then just start really small and do ten in a row each day. Here is a fun burpee party video by my favourite online yoga instructor! Then follow it up with a rest and a glass of water.
2. Take a quick walk: Get out of your house or workplace and take a quick walk up and down the road or around the block (if it will only take 10 mins!) It is good to take a break from your environment and get out of your box! If you have a dog – walk your dog at the same time, they will love you!
3. Meditate: Do 10 minutes of meditation. Meditation helps to reduce anxiety and stress and boosts serotonin levels in our brain and our overall energy. It also helps to expand our creativity and sense of well-being. For a full list of benefits see here – as you can see there are many! Here is a great 30 day meditation challenge by Faith Hunter that I have done in the past that I really enjoyed. Each video is around 10 minutes. There is also a great meditation app called Headspace which I have heard good things about. Check them out!
4. Drink water! Our bodies are made up of around 60% water and we all need to be drinking more of it! Every break should be a water break. Make your water fun by adding fruit. Lemon contains vitamin C and potassium. Lemon water in the morning helps to flush out our liver and aids digestion. Water also helps us to perform better and reduces headaches. We can also stay hydrated by eating more fruit and vegetables which are rich in water content. So grab a piece of fruit and a glass of water on your next break!
5. Grounding: Humans traditionally have always lived in contact with the earth. Now more than ever we are continually separated from touching the ground with our bare feet. Take your shoes off and put your feet on the ground or grab a blanket and sit on the ground for 10 minutes everyday. The earth gives off negative ions that help with any pain, inflammation, and the healing of chronic disease.
6. Yoga: Yoga improves overall body strength, reduces stress and boosts your immune system among many other things! It is a fantastic thing to do in a computer break as it also helps to realign your posture and spine. Here is a great 10 minute yoga flow to get you started!
7. Strength training: If burpees are not your thing in just 10 minutes a day you can improve your overall body strength with little to no equipment or just a pair of dumbells. There are loads of exercises you can do with just a pair of dumbells. HASfit is a great You Tube channel that has lots of 10 minute strength training vids.
8. Read a book + green tea: Make a green tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants and helps with your water intake! Then Read. Reading is a great way to re-focus your brain and escape from your work. Alot of the time our work on the computer is filled with distractions and notifications and reading helps us to single task. Reading is also good for your brain function, reduces stress and helps you to increase your vocabulary and writing capabilities. It’s a win-win and we all need to be doing more of it!
If you work in a traditional office space some of these might be a bit tricky to try out! I love the Asana office space! They even have a meditation room and yoga classes ♥
Which computer break idea will you try out first?
(Photo: Taylor Durrer)