Why You Should Take a 5-Minute Walking Break Every Day July 11, 2017 17:46

It's time to step away from our work so as to engage the creative power of our subconscious mind.

walking

It's no secret that there are benefits to stressing your body. Between physical exercise during a hard workout and mental exercises at our jobs, our bodies are all too familiar with stress. There is plenty of research that demonstrates how, regardless of the task at hand, our output begins to suffer after two consecutive hours of hard work.  We've learned that to do our best, we need to work in cycles of intense effort followed by short breaks. 

It's important to step away from our work so as to engage the creative power of our subconscious mind. There are many ways to do this and not all of them are created equal. Browsing social media, for example, isn't nearly as effective as taking a walk.

taking a walk

Taking a stroll isn't just useful for creatives like writers, artists, and inventors. When Brad was working on complicated financial models at McKinsey & Company, he'd take walks throughout the day, especially when he felt stuck. Almost without fail, what he couldn't figure out while staring at the screen popped into his mind during or immediately following a walk.

Stepping away from your work takes a lot of guts, especially when you're on a tight deadline. Sometimes you simply don't have the time to walk very far. The good news is that even short walks can provide big benefits.

In addition to the cognitive benefits, walking breaks are also great for physical health. You've probably heard by now that "sitting is the new smoking."  Long, uninterrupted bouts of sitting are awful for your health, and sitting can even undo gains from exercise. Fortunately, the latest science shows that taking just a two-minute walk every hour is protective against many of sitting's ill effects. One study even showed that these short walks reduce the risk of premature death by 33 percent.