Your boss wants you to stay put and work long periods at your desk so you can get more done. But the health experts, such as Harvard Health Publishing, say you need to get up and move more.
Certainly sitting for long periods can cause you to become lethargic and slower as you work throughout the day.
On the other hand, the worker who constantly pops up out of the chair to get a drink, use the restroom, or ask a question isn’t going to get much done. But, what is the happy medium?
Should you slave away to the point of chaining yourself to your desk? Or, should you take an occasional break and risk getting less done as well as having an unhappy supervisor?
Working until you drop is not only bad for your health it isn’t going to do your employer any good either if it makes you too tired or sick to work. However, taking a break means you aren’t working.
Can getting up from your desk increase your productivity?
The first way getting up from your desk increases your productivity is by improving your focus. Simply the act of getting out of your chair for 5 minutes after 60 to 90 minutes of sitting can reduce restlessness.
Moving around or taking a quick bathroom break can get your blood pumping a little, improve circulation, increase oxygen, and lift your mood. All of these benefits wake you up and help you fight fatigue.
In addition, moving around every hour or so lets you refocus on the job at hand with renewed energy once you get back to it.
Helps You Solve Problems
Occasionally as you are working you will run into a snag that prevents you from finishing a task. Getting up for a little bit can relieve the tension and increase your productivity.
It gives your brain a chance to take a break, which can improve your ability to unravel and solve the problem. Rather than sitting in your chair unmoving and stumped by the difficulty, get away from it for a few minutes. You may find that you fix the problem faster enabling you to move on to other projects.
Inhibits Job Burn Out
Although many people believe vacations prevent job burn out, getting up from your desk could prevent it as well. A short time span of varied activity every hour or so can increase your productivity without you having to take a week-long vacation.
Short time periods away from your desk let your mind stray from work thoughts and activities allowing them to rest.
If you want to combat the afternoon slump that causes you to yawn and lose your momentum, take a quick 5 minute walk. After sitting for a few hours it can spur your productivity for the next few.
One reason is because after exercising for just a few minutes in a different area you experience new smells, sights, and sounds. It can help your mind form new ideas and perspectives faster.
How to Move More
Of course, you can get up and take a quick walk or bathroom break to move more throughout your work day. But another idea is to try one of those new desks that allow you to adjust between sitting and standing with ease.
As you can see, getting up from your desk can increase your productivity several different ways. It can also give you some side benefits of better health through less stiffness, better blood flow, and less fatigue. Try it out for yourself and see if it makes a difference for you.