Taking breaks throughout the work day is beneficial to the employees. By stepping away from work for just a few minutes, you can increase your productivity, refocus, and reduce stress. Breaks are essential to every employee because they aid in boosting employee engagement and creativity levels. Mental health is also improved through taking active breaks from work activities.
Some psychologists agree that powering through the work day without taking a break does us more harm than good. The length of the break does not matter. Even short breaks can be beneficial to our minds and productivity. George Mason University did a study to prove how short breaks can improve attention. The students were given a task involving sustained attention on railroad tracks and their routes. One group focused on the task for the entire 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the other group got a 5 minute break where they could sit quietly, listen to music, watch a music video, or do whatever they wanted without leaving the room. No matter what type of activity they did during the break, the data showed that the second group performed better on the attention-based task overall.
This study proved that focusing our attention for long periods of time can wear us out. That is because prolonged focus on work is mentally depleting. Our mental fuel starts to fade out, which leads to a decline in performance. This decline can be a result of many different factors. Scientists believe the lack of attention can be caused by natural fatigue, build up of waste matter in the brain, impaired executive function, or many other reasons.
When taking a break at work, it is important to engage in an activity that gives your mind a chance to relax. Some effective ways of doing so include practicing meditation techniques, doing breathing exercises, standing up and stretching, doing a quick workout, or eating a healthy snack.
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Give Me A Break. (2019, January). https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/01/break.
How to Take Effective Breaks (And Be More Productive). (2022). https://www.deprocrastination.co/blog/how-to-take-effective-breaks-and-be-more-productive.
The Top Benefits of Taking Breaks at Work. (2022, February 15). https://nivati.com/blog/benefits-of-taking-breaks-at-work/.