With lots of research showing that sitting in a chair all day can put a drag on mood, physical health and productivity, ditching the desk at midday and doing something energizing can make a difference.

Chris Cunningham, professor of Industrial-Organizational and Occupational Health Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga says, “Taking a lunch break away from the desk lets people separate themselves from the source of that drain. And that offers the opportunity to build back some of those resources in the middle of the day – rather than just at the end when work is over.”

If you can’t leave the building to go outside, consider taking a walk down the hall. Cunnigham says the idea is to switch focus to something uplifting – instead of, say, reading email or running to the bank. “Just changing your environment relieves you of the need to decide what you want to attend to, and that in itself poses a sort of relief,” says Cunningham.

Another way to keep your energy up is to eat small amounts of food throughout the day to help maintain a level metabolism. For many people, eating a large meal midday can bring on sluggishness. “It’s certainly not advised to have a Thanksgiving feast for lunch,” says Cunningham. “Then again, you should give yourself a chance to be fascinated with the world around you – and enjoying your food can do that.”            wsj.com      10/7/13




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