When we launched the agency in 2015, there were just three of us in a tiny, stuffy, loud office in San Francisco. After a day that likely included building desks, attempting to configure a wireless printer, and wondering what in the hell we had gotten ourselves into, we decided we needed a plank break. It was that or margaritas, and that day planks won.
Since that first day in that tiny suite where we could barely all fit horizontally, it’s become a tradition in our offices—one-minute regular plank and then 30 seconds on each side. We’ve done it with 15 of us in full-on Halloween costumes, virtually on Skype, and in ugly Christmas sweaters.
Here are some of the reasons it has become a favorite part of the day:
#1 Let’s face it: It’s a break.
Any chance to get up from your desk and away from work for a minute is always welcome. It’s a distraction that can help you return to a task more focused and more creative.
#2 It brings everyone together.
There are some days when you barely see a co-worker who may be hunkered down at their desk or in meetings all day, and our plank sessions are a great chance for everyone to re-connect about something other than work.
#3 It’s a sugar-free, caffeine-free way to get reinvigorated.
Because planks help stretch and relax muscles that can become stiff from sitting all day, the tension release planks provide can help power you through the rest of the afternoon.
#4 It encourages teamwork.
When a co-worker may be faltering, others are naturally there to help encourage them and get them through with “you’re almost there!” or “only 15 more seconds!” rallying cries. Fostering those kinds of relationships helps us build stronger teams.
#5 It makes for stronger, healthier team members.
Yes, two minutes of planking on a regular basis can make you stronger. And, while the benefits of exercise are well documented, it’s not always easy to make the time before or after work. In a day that may be filled with stressful assignments, difficult client meetings, and (let’s admit it) multiple trips to the candy jar, a plank session can leave you feeling more accomplished through physical activity.