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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Recess at Work Day: 10 Reasons Why Hard-Working Adults Should Play Hard Too!

Photo by Jason Pratt (Flickr)

On June 19, my company celebrated Recess at Work Day with a party that featured games and other fun activities. The entire team had so much fun playing that we decided to plan more official recess breaks. While many adults associate recess with kids, I'm grateful for our playful company culture because play offers ten important benefits to hard-working adults.

Solve Problems More Creatively

When we play, we exercise our imaginations as we think about what might happen and how we'll deal with those events. For instance, as I play volleyball or a board game, I think about the moves other players will make, and I adjust my actions accordingly. These skills, honed as we play, improve our creativity, reasoning, and problem-solving skills at work.

Improve Blood Pressure

High blood pressure increases our risk of heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, 30 minutes of daily aerobic activity and the relaxation that play provides can improve our blood pressure. Let's play more so we can become healthier now and into the future!

Build a Sense of Community

I'm big on team-building events at work because they boost trust, cooperation, and collaboration. Whether we play sports, assemble puzzles, or play cards, play builds our sense of community and connection, making us more successful and fulfilled at work.

Promote Peace

In my daily life, I strive to maintain peace with myself and others. This practice improves my overall physical, emotional, and mental health, boosts relationships, and enhances my workday performance, and I achieve peace through play. As I play with my co-workers, family members, and friends, we have fun, relax, let go of expectations, and bond, allowing us to feel more at peace with ourselves and each other.

Stay Mentally Sharp

Recess activities like playing games, completing puzzles, and participating in physical activities improve our brain health, memory, and thinking skills. This brain boost is why our company placed a jigsaw puzzle table in our break room and added regular volleyball games, yoga classes, and board game tournaments to our schedule.

Maintain Healthy Relationships

A successful work environment depends on healthy relationships between co-workers and clients, and we build and maintain these relationships as we play. Telling jokes, playing games, and having fun together lightens the work atmosphere, diffuses tension, and keeps our relationships healthy.

Reduce Stress

Every adult experiences stress, but playfulness helps us cope better with stressors and reduces our dependence on avoidance or escape strategies. Our playful outlook on life at work and at home gives us the tools we need to cope with stress and navigate stressful situations successfully.

Reduce Burnout

Most of the adults I know use their annual vacation to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate away from the daily grind. That single week off of work isn't always enough to prevent burnout, though. Let's incorporate recess and play into our daily routine as we boost our resiliency, feel rejuvenated, and reduce burnout throughout the year.

Enhance Productivity

We often work smarter and harder when we're having fun. I know I work better after play breaks because they reboot my brain, jump-start my creativity, and boost my productivity when I return to my desk.

Boost Well-Being

When I take time to play, I enjoy life more, stay positive, and feel better overall. That sense of well-being contributes to satisfaction at work and at home, a compelling reason for us to play often.

We hard-working adults gain ten important benefits thanks to play. On Recess at Work Day and every day, let's make time to climb rocks, play video games, or create art. What other ways can we incorporate recess into our workday?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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