It's come to diabetes - almost Australia's number one killer disease - to get us off our seats and to take a break.
Recent reports in the SMH and ABC Online have revealed that Australians in their twenties and thirties are gaining weight at an alarming rate and are increasing their risk of heart disease and diabetes. This is because a lack of activity can make a person's blood-sugar levels rise. One of the solutions that the researchers offer to prevent this is that employees need to avoid sitting at their work desk for long periods of time.
I'm a huge advocate for this change in the workplace and want to stress that not only do regular breaks throughout the working day encourage workers to leave their desk, move around and be slightly more active on a day-to-day basis, breaks are also important for employee motivation, production and happiness.
Too often employers reward the employees who chain themselves to their desk, work endlessly on projects and continue working at all unsociable hours of the day. By rewarding these employees with positive words of encouragement, pay rises or promotions, the business creates a stigma that other employees need to work in the same manner in order to progress in their careers. Not only is this unhealthy for an employee but it's unhealthy for the company.
How often do you take breaks at work? Do you ever feel guilty about taking breaks? What's the best way to get re-motivated at work? Let OneShift know!
People who sit at their desk for too long can suffer from irritability, distraction, confusion, nervousness, anxiety, fatigue and stress. The brain is a muscle and working it too hard without a break causes it to tire. Additionally, people who stare at computer too long can develop vision problems. Have you ever had that blurred vision feeling when you've been at the computer for a while? It's a common effect for 93 per cent of people who sit at their desk for too long.
It's sad that it's taken such a dramatic disease '“ diabetes '“ to make employers aware that their workers need regular breaks. Businesses should be rewarding those employees who can let go and stop what they're doing, if only for a moment, to rest. The exact amount of breaks and time for breaks is also a popular topic. Some believe that employees should work for 45 minutes and then take 15 minutes off. This for me is a little extreme. Workers should be able to recognise when they are losing concentration and should aim to get up from the desk and walk around at least for five minutes every hour and make sure that they take a decent lunch break.
If a business can encourage their employees to take regular breaks, workers will be happier, the environment will be less stressful and your staff will be more likely to stay working for your company.Image source: academy.justjobs