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Do you remember to take breaks?

Do you need help to take breaks from the computer or perhaps you would benefit from doing some desk exercises.

Its never easy to remember to take regular breaks while working at a computer and often we are so intent on finishing a job or a project that it can be hours before we have moved.

Why do we need breaks from work when we don’t ache

Constant computer work can cause fatigue in the muscles of the neck, shoulder and arms as well as eye fatigue and visual problems such as blurred vision. But taking regular breaks can help reduce the onset of fatigue. Many people recommend taking 5-10 mins an hour.

Often people think they are wasting time taking breaks but the studies have shown that even if you just do nothing for 10 minutes every hour your productivity rate for the day is higher than if you had worked or keyed constantly over the working day. The reason for this is that apparently we make less mistakes, we have less aches and pains and we are more attentive when we break up our working day.

Dont enjoy doing nothing then try some desk exercises

Rest breaks don’t have to be rests – you can do other tasks like make a phone call, do some filing, reload the photocopier, anything really that stops you using the keyboard and mouse and gets your muscles and joints doing something else. If you have nothing else whatsoever to do than having a couple of exercises is one way of stretching and relieving any symptoms of fatigue.

A free open source downloadable programme that has a number of features is www.workrave.com. You can set it up to remind you to take breaks and it even has an exercise Avator to help get you moving in the right direction. If possible try and avoid the delay button on the rest breaks.

Remember you don’t notice the problem when you’re in the middle of the job but at the end of the day when you stop. So it’s a matter of getting into good habits. If you can’t download things onto your computer you can print out the CSP office exercise guide from our website.