Agh… the 9 to 5 desk job! With an avalanche of emails, meetings and projects all competing for your attention today, you’re pretty much going to be parked at your desk with relatively few opportunities for relief, right? Sound too familiar?

It is estimated that on average we sit for about 15 hours a day! Yeah, we all know that stepping away from your desk for a walk can aid digestion, help you to de-stress and even burn a few calories, BUT did you know that office work is a lot more dangerous than you think?!

According to an article by MHealthy, the University of Michigan’s health and wellness blog, research reports that sitting stagnant for lengths of time, as most of us do at the office, can lead to a wide range of health problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart attack and even cancer.

Not moving at all for long periods of time cause physiological changes in your muscles. You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream; you get an accumulation of fat in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy and you gain weight. Also, as if that’s not enough, health experts came to the conclusion that desk jobs cause “nature deficit disorder” – depression or anxiety resulting from too little time outside.

Here’s the cool part: counteracting the negative effects of this way of life is incredibly easy and will only take 5 to 16 minutes of your time!

So, what are the benefits of making time for a short break outside?

  • Boosts your creativity and focus. (Your boss is going to love this one!) Stanford researchers found that individuals who walked outside were 60% more creative when compared with their indoors seated peers. Scientists concluded that taking a walk outside boosts creative thoughts during the walk and shortly thereafter.
  • Nature makes you smarter. Recent studies show that spending time in nature can actually improve cognitive function.
  • Outdoor time can boost your mood and self-esteem. A meta-analysis of 10 studies found that “Green breaks” has unique benefits, even as little as 5 minutes leads to measurable improvements in mood and self-esteem.
  • Increased vitamin D levels could prevent chronic diseases and the incidence of several types of cancer could be slashed in half. Vitamin D fights infections including colds and flu.
  • Reduces stress. Any form of exercise drops our level of the stress - hormone, cortisol. We generally take deeper breaths when walking outside, using the body’s natural anti-stressor while filling the lungs with oxygen.
  • Increases mindfulness. When we step outside we activate all of our senses, this will enrich all of our moments, even when the walk is over.

After all, productivity is more than just how much work we do. Our health, our mood, our motivation and engagement in our work, all affect productivity.

So c’mon, take the most refreshing work break. Who knows … you might come up with your next great idea on the sidewalk!



DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.