Three Tips for Breaking Long Periods of Stationary Time at Work

May 3, 2018

Sitting (or even standing) still for hours can be very hard on our bodies and minds. Our metabolism and many other important body functions perform better if we move around regularly. Our muscles and joints also need routine movement – many of us know all too well the effects of inactivity on our backs and shoulders, for example.

It’s easier said than done, however. When your workday is fully booked, how do you add activity? If your work requires a lot of sitting, it can be a bit challenging. Even here at Oura, where we’re constantly reminded of the positive effects of tiny activity breaks, there are days when we just get so focused on our tasks we forget the breaks (like when writing a blog post, for example). Here’s what a day like that looks like as told by a screenshot from the new Oura app:

The Oura app

But the good news is that even tiny measures in avoiding stationary time count: getting up and moving a bit every 50 minutes for just a minute or two is a very good start. It’s even in that short a timeframe when your body gets the necessary activity, and your mind the necessary break.

Three Tips To Break the Periods of Stationary Time

So, how to add some movement to your stationary day? Here are some examples of how we here at our office try to keep ourselves active:

  1. Walk to lunch. What’s even better is if you don’t pick the nearest restaurant, but walk a bit further. Maybe even ask your colleagues to join in?
  2. If you have a fully booked calendar with successive meetings, this tiny trick might do wonders. Schedule the meetings so that you have a 5-minute break between them. Take a tiny stroll around the hallways, get a sip of water, and reload your brain for another cognitive challenge.
  3. Ever tried walking meetings? If you’re about to brainstorm with colleagues, what if you didn’t stay at the office but headed off to the streets? A word of warning: getting out in the open can expose you to out-of-the-box ideas!

Of course there are also days – and work tasks – that are active enough without any specific measures. If that happens to be the case, it’s important to give your body some time to rest, too. That’s what one colleague did after a day like this:

The oura app on an iPhone

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