According to the Washington Post, children who are more active have greater attention and faster cognitive processing speed than those who don’t. The same study also shows that children who exercise more perform better on standardized test as well. Some schools like Da Vinci Arts Middle School helps students exercise more by incorporating breaks or integrate movement into their lesson plans. Other schools, however, rely on standing desk or bouncy chairs to help children stay focused throughout the day. But what about adults?
As most adults know, prolonged sitting has been linked to certain illnesses like high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes which is often found in adults who spend more time on sedentary activities like watching TV than exercising. That’s why, when it comes to prevention of diseases, exercise is key. Even adults who do exercise regularly can still be at risk of having health problems if they spend more time sitting than being active. What are some things that adults can do to help? Take a recess break. In other words, if you’re sitting at a desk for too long, get up and take a break or stretch your legs.
Taking breaks at work have the same effects recess has on students: it improves their attention and productivity levels. As a matter of fact, most productivity techniques that are taught by employers usually include certain times of highly focused work separated by breaks — and since most work performed nowadays is typically done at a desk, these breaks can include anything from taking a quick jog to walking around the office. There are, however, some companies that offer their employees advance programs that include activity breaks, treadmill desks, and meetings on the go to to get their employees up and moving.
Like schools, companies who offer and encourage an active work environment find that their employees are much more productive and actually enjoy coming to work. The active workspace doesn’t always have to require people to move around constantly. Instead, it should be designed to encourage activities throughout the day that foster positive habits that can help prolong your life in the long run. The office has the ability to make employees feel as if the walls are slowly closing in on them. With careful planning, however, the office environment can be transformed into a place that encourages creativity, productivity, and flexibility.
Another physical technique that can help transform the office into an active workplace is called “instant recess.” According to the University of California, Los Angeles, instant recess is an excellent way to get people out their chairs and away from their beloved desk. The program is designed to give employees a 10-minute burst of low-impact movements to get the blood flowing through their body again. Just as children need movement throughout their day, adults also rely on it and benefit from these small exercises.
Although the focus is usually on the on the office space, what you do at home is equally important. That’s because individuals spend upwards of nine hours and 22 minutes each day staring at the computer, their mobile device, and television. Fortunately, recess can help reduce screen time and help individuals meet their goals. This, of course, isn’t designed to replace exercise. Instead, it’s designed to keep you active.