I bought this cute little strawberry timer the other week with the intention of timing my oatmeal on the stove. But this week I found another use for it:
Setting it to give my body a break. Here's what Dr. Davis Liu, author of Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely recommended to me this week:
1. Get yourself a timer.
2. Set it for one hour.
3. At the end of the hour, do some shoulder shrugs, exercise your wrists, shoulders chest and back.
4. Practice a minute of deep breathing
5. Get back to work.
As he put it, "Is anything really going to fall apart if you leave your desk for five minutes?"
My answer was no.
I discovered that that small, antiquated piece of machinery could make my body happier and make my job less dangerous to my health.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and editors reported 220 injuries on the job severe enough to miss at least one day of work in 2006, the most recent date for which statistics are available. None of them, oddly, were in the repetitive strain category (which tells me, more than anything, that writers aren't reporting them to their bosses, or, like us, they're self-employed). What I know from my own experience, though, is that when I sit for a long time and then stand up, my body feels welded in place, and my stress level grows.
I don't know much about Chinese medicine, but is sure feels like my qi is blocked. Just saying.
I did this yesterday--imperfectly--and it was a relief. Oddly, it served another purpose: It helped me be mindful of how I was spending my time and helped me track how I was spending my time.
Give it a shot today and see how it feels.