Get Up, Walk, Distract Yourself… Take Active Breaks

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

We are so focused on following a routine that we do not even realize when we start or end our days, and this can bring different problems to our body and mind. Therefore, it is important to take “active breaks”; this will allow our day-to-day to be more productive.

BMC Public Health defines active breaks as “short bursts of physical activity performed in the classroom as a break from learning tasks [1] ”. According to IGI Global Publisher of Timely Knowledge, they are “short boost (5-15 min) of physical activity included in the school schedule that offer pupils more time of physical activity without reducing their learning time [2] ”. In conclusion, as mentioned by the University of California Berkeley [3] : “Making time for activity breaks throughout the work day can help you feel focused and energized, as well as help you fit some fitness into your day.”

There are three categories of physical activity breaks [4] :

  1. Simple activities and/or take little time to prepare
  2. Active announcements.
  3. Stretches / exercises.
  4. Energizes.
  5. Small group walking discussions.
  6. Medium level activities and/or take some time to prepare:
  7. Music activity videos.
  8. Office workouts.
  9. More complex activities and/or take more time to prepare
  10. Create your own movements to music.
  11. Pantomimes.

It is important to mention that in our cognitive system, our brain works in this way: “Brain breaks are planned learning activity shifts that mobilize different networks of the brain. These shifts allow those regions that are blocked by stress or high-intensity work to revitalize. Brain breaks, by switching activity to different brain networks, allow the resting pathways to restore their calm focus and foster optimal mood, attention and memory [5] ”.

According to Panorama Education, consider two types of active breaks [6] :

  1. Movement breaks, which are physical activities like stretches, yoga poses, jumping jacks, push-ups, or a quick dance party.
  2. Mental breaks like deep breathing mindfulness exercises, playing a game, or doing an art activity such as a printable coloring page.

So, if you have already read more than five articles or have been sitting at your desk for more than 90 minutes, get up, distract your mind, walk your pet, have a coffee, a tea, look at the sky, relax your brain and recharge your energy to continue.








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