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How often/many breaks do you take if you have a desk based job?

119 replies

Cluelessness · 26/02/2024 22:14

Started new role which is sat in front of a computer all day. Entitled to a 30 min break which people seem to take around lunch time. Would I be unreasonable to take a 10 min break every hour or so? I’m finding it so boring and not at all healthy.
What is considered as ok?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

197 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
ButWhatAboutTheBees · 26/02/2024 22:15

My last two desk based jobs we were encouraged to move every hour, get up and have a walk etc which wasn't in the allocated 30 minutes lunch

I believe its recommended in fact not to sit there for hours without moving

Onceuponaheartache · 26/02/2024 22:17

10 mins every'll be on a permanent break if you try that!

A minute or 2 an hour to change position & breaknfro the screen is a required on a DSE assessment and maybe a 5 min trip for a wee and a cuppa every couple of hours is probably the most you can reasonable expect to be permitted.

Springsombrero · 26/02/2024 22:18

Definitely move around regularly, stretch your legs, make a cup of tea etc. But 10 mins every hour sounds like too much.

VERYBRUISEDPEAR · 26/02/2024 22:20

I get up for a wee/get a coffee/have a quick chat to a colleague at least once an hour..

RadiatorDial · 26/02/2024 22:21

I’m one of those unhealthy desk goblins. I’ll sit down at 8:30, get up to make lunch (which I eat at my desk) then realise it’s 5:30 and I should have logged off ages ago.

My body (and brain) are trashed because of this - don’t be like me; take breaks.

That said, 10 minutes every hour seems excessive on top of a lunch break. You’d effectively be taking an hour off every day. See what your colleagues do though.

mondaytosunday · 26/02/2024 22:21

Ten minutes an hour - if you work a normal day, 9-5, that's over an hour 20 minutes!
Getting up to walk to the coffee machine and returning to your desk is a two minute break - that's more in keeping.

Scalpel · 26/02/2024 22:21

I do about 5 minutes every hour otherwise my body seizes up

BeakyBlinders · 26/02/2024 22:49

10 mins every hour? That's fucking insane.

Romeiswheretheheartis · 26/02/2024 23:00

A 10 min break every hour would be unreasonable - that's about 1 hr/day being paid for doing no work. However, if you were to spend a few minutes every hour doing some other necessary work that requires standing/moving - filing, collecting stationery, going to discuss something with a colleague etc - then that would break things up and allow you to move a bit.

Ponderingwindow · 26/02/2024 23:05

Once an hour you need to get up and walk somewhere. If you are in an office that can be to the bathroom, to get a cup of coffee, or just make a lap around the office.

i wfh, so when my watch reminds me I haven’t moved in an hour, my go-to is a 1 minute dance party.

Woman2023 · 26/02/2024 23:08

ButWhatAboutTheBees · 26/02/2024 22:15

My last two desk based jobs we were encouraged to move every hour, get up and have a walk etc which wasn't in the allocated 30 minutes lunch

I believe its recommended in fact not to sit there for hours without moving

We're advised to move for 10 mins every hour, using it to get a drink, go to the loo, walk to discuss a point rather than message, use a sit stand desk to change position etc.

In reality most people sit for much longer without obvious breaks.

New2024 · 26/02/2024 23:10

30 mins lunch presumably gets you an earlier finish time than the old lunch hour did. Post pandemic 1/2 of our office still does coffee break/lunch hour/tea break but the rest of us work flexibly/hybrid. My office days are 5 hrs twice a week. I do technically have a break but usually a 15 min coffee one. Otherwise just a potter to the loo.

Bellyache99 · 26/02/2024 23:10

5 mins or so every hour as suggested by boss (she does the same)

Taylormiffed · 26/02/2024 23:11

I'm up at least every 30 mins, toilet, drink, printer. That probably mounts up to 10 mins moving. If I don't get up and move my IBS flares up badly.

Crinkle77 · 26/02/2024 23:11

We get an hours lunch and then quick 5/10 break mid morning and mid afternoon to get a drink/go for a cig. They're kind of unofficial breaks in that we don't have dedicated break times as such but breaks are encouraged and my boss doesn't care what we do as long as the work gets done.

Merryoldgoat · 26/02/2024 23:15

Depends on what you mean by break - I move from my desk fairly frequently as I might need to see someone in another office or part of the building etc.

I think the bigger issue is being so bored you couldn’t work for 60 mins without a break.

I do a ‘boring’ job but really like it and can easily get absorbed in a task and suddenly be 3 hours in without realising.

2024Melanie · 26/02/2024 23:15

Say youve taken up smoking and go for a walk around the office / out the front for ten mins for a break

LaWench · 26/02/2024 23:17

I wfh. Start at 9. I usually have a break around 10.30-11. Make a brew, let the dog out and put the washing in the dryer. Lunch at 1ish for around 30mins then have a break at 3.30 and chat with DC when they get home and finish at 4.30pm.

mrsfollowill · 26/02/2024 23:18

These days an office job is so much more sedentary then it used to be. I used to collect printing, do filing, go and pull files and folders out of the cabinets. No more- everything online for last 15-20 yrs. So many people have back, neck shoulder problems from sitting hunched over a laptop. We all 90% WFH and it makes it worse as you don't walk over to a colleague to ask a question- you Teams message instead.
At my work it's recommended 5 mins an hour to step away- stretch and walk around- go and make a coffee, go into the garden and walk around. You look away from your screen more than that - refocus your eyes by just looking around the room. It's easy to fall into the trap of not moving enough. We still call each other on the phone in my office to chat things over sometimes too but I don't think many under 40 do that these days.

Xmasbaby11 · 26/02/2024 23:19

5 mins per hour is easily done by getting a drink and going to the toilet. Probably another 5 mins chatting with colleagues and or checking your phone. I’m sure a lot of people do that without considering it’s a long break.

I think you’ll probably fall into a pattern and you don’t need to plan breaks as such.

if I’m struggling to focus, I find it helpful to do a different task for a while then return to the original one. Or save tasks like checking emails to do in little chunks.

teaandtoastwithmarmite · 26/02/2024 23:20

I usually get up and make a drink every 90 minutes or so. At my work you wouldn't be allowed to take ten mins every hour but we get an hour lunch and you can split that into two 15 minutes and one 30

Blanketpolicy · 26/02/2024 23:22

Back to back calls usually mean the only break i get is rushing to loo or to refill water or grab lunch from fridge.

we have sit/stand desks in office that help or if i am at home i can walk around with wireless headset

10 min breaks every hour just wouldnt work


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JobMatch3000 · 26/02/2024 23:25

I walk/move more when I WFH as my office is upstairs and the kitchen and bathroom are downstairs (bungalow with a loft conversion) whereas my office is tiny and the loo is across the corridor from my office door.

Definitely set an alarm to get up and move every hour - but this should not take 10 minutes.

SquirrelsAssemble · 26/02/2024 23:26

I try and get my 250 steps each hour, so it's a couple of minutes each hour.
Favourites include:
Taking a very long route to the toilets.
Meandering trip to the kitchen to put my sandwiches in the fridge.
Meandering trip to the kitchen for coffee.
Sending stuff to the printer downstairs.
One lap of the building (later afternoon when less people about to think I'm weird).

Basically, walk about with a piece of paper or notebook in your hand & nobody questions it.

Spectre8 · 26/02/2024 23:49

Depends on your job? If its call centre type then yes I can it might be unreasonable but if it sjudt working in an office then not really.

Today around 9am I got some tea probably took 3 mins. Somewhere around 11 bathroom and more water so 5 mins ish. Then at 1.30 hour long lunch. 3.30 bathroom break and more water again about 5 mins.

Co worker popped by for a chat about 10 mins some time during the day.

Typical day really. My breaks are regimented just happen when they need too. Some days I'll be b2b meetings and won't grt a chance

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