Discovering the Power of Micro-Breaks with Stacy Fritz
“We all have moments during the course of the day that we can address that very important topic of personal health.” – Stacy Fritz
I had the privilege of speaking with Stacy Fritz, President and Founder of Fit2Order, a woman-owned corporate wellness company based in Towson, MD, that specializes in offering at-work wellness solutions for the sedentary workforce.
Stacy is passionate about incorporating personal wellness into daily life and evaluating ways to increase activity through micro-breaks. We discuss:
- Managing your time to focus on your health
- Infusing micro-breaks into your daily routine
- Shifting your mindset to address personal health
Managing your time to focus on your health
We’ve all made excuses for not developing healthier habits. I’m too busy, I’ll start next month, I missed a day of my workout, so I’ll start fresh next week, etc.
Stacy challenges us to examine what we mean when we tell ourselves that we’re “too busy.”
“Busy is a buzzword for me.” Stacy shares, “It sends the hair up on my back because everybody can use that word, but that's not really a descriptor of how we're feeling.” She continues, “We may all say that we're super busy, but when a health issue arises, we miraculously have all the time in the world to take care of it.”
Each of us have moments during the day to address personal health. The question is, how are we spending those moments right now?
“What I am proposing is that we take a hard look at what busy truly means because, in my opinion, we all have moments during the course of the day that we can address personal health. And the reason why is because if you don't take care of it now, it will find you later on.” Stacy points out.
Managing your time for a more consistent focus on personal health can be as simple as doing some stretches instead of scrolling on social media.
Infusing micro-breaks into your daily routine
If we can take time to incorporate micro-breaks during the course of our busy days, we can overcome the feeling of having to step away from life to invest in our health. By folding in little habits throughout the chaos of our days, we create an umbrella of prevention.
“We're not talking about going to the gym to get six-pack abs or losing weight. What we're talking about are habits that we can put into place that are going to take care of our overall well being.” Stacy explains.
With this comes recognizing that work-life balance is mostly a myth. Segmenting life from work can make it feel like we can only invest in our health when we’re “off the clock,” which can have long-term consequences. Our bodies have the same needs from the desk chair to the dining table—health doesn’t have a pause button or a time-out feature.
Extensive research shows that a one hour daily workout is not enough to undo the damaging effects of long-term sitting from occupations or otherwise. Adding in bursts throughout the day can better counteract chronic sitting.
Infusing micro-breaks and healthier habits into our lives across the board means progress towards holistic well being.
One way to cultivate holistic well being is to make a point of standing up and moving every 60-90 minutes—this helps keep the body open.
Leveraging action-based micro-breaks can look like:
- Taking a quick walk around the block
- Getting up and talking to a coworker or family member
- Adopting some desk stretches you can do between meetings
“I want to disrupt sitting, and I want to use tools that can connect with my breath, which is directly connected to the mindfulness to keep me fluid and open during the course of the workday instead of compartmentalizing ‘I'm going to do this at work, and I'm gonna do this well being thing at home.’ You need to make yourself a priority.” Stacy explains.
Shifting your mindset to address personal health
Even with all the research around productivity decreasing when people sit and stare at a screen for prolonged periods, there still have not been sufficient adjustments within office spaces and the ‘hustle’ culture.
The wellness conversation needs to switch to how we work, not just what we do when we’re exhausted at the end of the day. And for that shift to happen, we must adjust how we think about exercise, nutrition, and overall well being—what are our priorities?
“My question is always ‘How can we create a more life-giving environment for all of us?’” Stacy shares, “We are not human doings. We're human beings.” We're designed for motion and constant forward progress, yes–but we are also built for rest.
If we look at how our ancestors moved and ate and breathed, we see a more balanced existence, with some allowances for improved medical practices and more knowledge about the human body. What have we done with that knowledge? How can we marry the past and the present and apply those base natures to modern living?
Incorporating micro-breaks into our routines gets us closer to that balance across all categories of life, from work to play to rest.
“We need to get out of the stress response and into a calmer, gentler fashion, where people feel supported,” Stacy says, referencing the difference between hard workouts and personal wellness, “I just know that we can make a huge shift.”
The more of us who make a pointed effort to build routines centered on personal wellness, the more likely that shift is to happen across workplaces, schools, and homes on a larger scale.
What is one small step you can take today that will get you closer to the life you want to live?