May 20, 2016 – 10:13 am
Reboot yourself with study break stretches.
When you sit for long periods, your concentration can wander, making it harder to retain information.
Gentle stretching has been shown to have positive benefits that help to maintain focus, including:
- increasing blood flow to your brain
- releasing your body from aches and pains
- reducing stress levels
- increasing energy levels
Follow these tips to make the most of your study session:
- Set regular intervals to move or stretch
- Stretching every hour or at the end of an article, chapter or lecture is a good habit to get into.
- During your rest interval, put your pen down, close your computer and put your phone away.
Use this time effectively and spend a few minutes performing some stretches at your desk.
Here are six simple stretches to get you started:
Performed correctly, you’ll start to notice a difference in your studying ability and concentration levels.
Remember, not all stretches are suitable for everyone. If you feel any serious discomfort during certain stretches refrain from that stretch. Do not push yourself past your limits.
University students often experience high levels of anxiety and stress – particularly at exam time – but studies show that exercises in mindfulness and relaxation can help to reduce stress. Coping strategies such as self-hypnosis, positive affirmations and disputing negative thoughts can also help.
To find out what might work for you, read on:
- Dundas, Wormnes, & Hauge. (2009). Making exams a manageable task. Nordic Psychology, 61(1), 26-41.
- José Gallego, José M. Aguilar-Parra, Adolfo J. Cangas, Álvaro I. Langer and Israel Mañas (2014). Effect of a Mindfulness Program on Stress, Anxiety and Depression in University Students. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 17, E109 doi:10.1017/sjp.2014.102.
- Siegel, R. (2010). The mindfulness solution: Everyday practices for everyday problems. New York: Guilford Press.
- Harp, D. (2011). Mindfulness to Go How to Meditate While You’re On the Move. New Harbinger Publications.
Thanks to Michael Psarakis, Associate Lecturer (Clinical Exercise Physiology), Annelisa Sipos and Vicki Bourbous, Liaison Librarians at Strathfield for this post
Tags: #exambusters, exams, study