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  • Writer's pictureJames Hurst

How to take breaks to avoid aches

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

It's really quite hard isn't it? You sit or stand at your desk ready to start your day and the next thing it's lunchtime and you haven't moved an inch (well, maybe you've popped to the toilet...). You're probably feeling stiff all over and it's then much harder to get yourself out of that funk.

A person at their desk suffering from physical aches and pains.

How? I hear you asking me. Well, the answer is simple. Use the Pomodoro Technique. This will be instrumental in helping you take more regular breaks and by doing so you'll move more, drink water, take a minute for yourself to breathe or even stretch.


The technique can be helpful for desk workers to improve productivity and incorporate movement breaks into their workday.


I spent more than 20 years working in the arts and charity sector so I know a thing or two about desks and sitting so, if you're like how I used to be, spending a lot of time sitting at your desk, typing away on your computer. And after a few hours of this, you start to feel the ache in your back, neck, and shoulders. It's not a fun feeling, and it's not good for your health either. So, what can you do to avoid these aches and pains?


What is the Pomodoro Technique?

Enter the Pomodoro technique. It's a time management method that involves breaking your workday into 25-minute intervals, separated by 5-minute breaks. During those 25 minutes, you focus on one task and work as efficiently as possible. Then, during the 5-minute break, you get up, stretch, move around, and give your body a break from sitting in one position for too long.

An image of a tomato or a kitchen timer, symbolizing the Pomodoro Technique.

I was sceptical of the Pomodoro technique at first but started using it again recently as I'm trying to spend more time on creating content (Just like this!). And as someone who considers myself a health and productivity guru, I thought I had all the answers when it came to time management. But after trying the Pomodoro technique for a week, it's a game changer.


Not only will it help you avoid the physical aches and pains that come with sitting for too long, but it will also help you stay focused and energised throughout the day. And the breaks give you a chance to stretch your legs, grab a snack, or just take a few deep breaths before diving back into your work.

How does it work?

Here's how the technique works:

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes and start working on your task.

  2. When the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break.

  3. Repeat this cycle four times, and then take a longer break of 15-20 minutes.

It may seem like a small thing, but those short breaks can make a big difference. And if you're anything like me, you'll find that you're actually more productive when you take regular breaks.


What's the best app to use?

You can download this free phone app, Focus Keeper at the Apple Store or Google Play Apps.


More about Focus Keeper

It helps you keep your productivity high, avoiding burnout using the timer. Work with time. Not against it!

An image of the Focus Keeper app in action showing the timer used in the pomodor technique
What the Focus Keeper timer looks like


Key Focus Keeper Features:

  • Adjust the timer with your fingers just like you do with a real egg-timer.

  • The next session starts automatically when the current session ends.

  • Customise the length of the Focus Session, short breaks, and long breaks.

  • Set different volume sounds for each ticking and alarm sound. Set any sounds separately for the short break, long break, and Focus session.

  • Focus Reminder: If you're struggling to make a habit of using Focus Keeper, this could come in hand. You can set when you want to be notified to use Focus Keeper through weekdays and weekends.

Alternative App

Some people might find having an extension in their web browser easier so here's the: Chrome Extension called Focus To Do



What I can do to help you


If you're experiencing physical aches and pains from sitting at a desk all day, massage therapy can be a great way to alleviate discomfort and improve your overall well-being. As a qualified massage therapist, I specialise in helping desk workers overcome the negative effects of prolonged sitting and improve their posture and mobility.


If you're interested in learning more about how massage therapy can benefit you, book a session with me, at my Goudhurst Home Clinic, today! Together, we'll develop a personalised treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and helps you feel your best. Click the link below to schedule your appointment and start feeling better today.




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