It’s just too easy to work for hours on end in front of a computer immediately after returning from holiday. Who hasn’t got stuck in front of their computer screen and forgotten about the time? But that is probably not the best way to work – not for your body, not for your brain and not for your work. It’s hardly news that it is important to take breaks, to move your body and to allow your brain to occupy itself with something else for a while. But it’s also important to actually do these things, to make it a daily routine.

Reflection important for recovery

In a research study at health centres, researchers could see that opportunities for reflection during the working day were important for recovery – time for your own reflections and also time to reflect with colleagues. Staff who got the chance to recover generally felt better overall when compared to the control group. They experienced better mutual connection with colleagues, and a more open and positive working atmosphere.

Don’t put off taking breaks for recovery

It’s easy to think that you are going to get to rest and have time for exercise later, and so you put these things off until the evening or the weekend. And then you staring longing for long weekends in order to relax. But we all need recovery in different forms during the working day. Just as I am writing this sentence, a reminder comes on my mobile phone that it’s time to get up and move. So why not take the opportunity to get up and have a stretch and look out through the window before you continue reading?

Mobile apps can help

After the summer holidays, it’s a good time now to share all the mobile apps that can help you remember to take breaks. Some of these also suggest different exercises you can easily do at your desk. It might seem a bit absurd to be suggesting using one electronic device to take a break from work another, but during the spring I tried this out and it worked a treat.

Since we are a public authority, we cannot of course recommend any specific mobile app that we have not procured according to all the rules of public procurement. But we can suggest some keywords that will work to help you find these types of mobile apps, many of which are free.

Try searching for “active breaks” or “productivity breaks” to get mobile apps that will remind you to take breaks and might also suggest activities. Another good search word to use is “pomodoro”. This will bring up mobile apps that are based on the Pomodoro technique, which is about working in a focused way for 25 minutes and then taking 5 minute breaks.