Busy work days are often filled with overflowing emails, skipping lunch, and sitting at our desk all day typing away. However, more research is revealing that aiming to be a powerhouse and working non-stop is not an effective method to complete tasks. Working without breaks results in fatigue and a decrease in motivation and concentration. Breaks overall have been shown to benefit employees by improving their health and well-being. Breaks are defined as a duration of time in the workday when work-related tasks are not executed or when employees proactively shift their attention away from work. Taking small breaks from work allows the body to enter to a recovery period.
During work periods we expend various resources that influence our productivity such as physically energy, energetic activation (how we subjectively feel), and concentration, which all affects our motivation. Similar to batteries, our bodies need to recharge after we drain our resources, which allows that much needed recharge and decreases stressors that we often experience throughout the workday.
Relaxing breaks, where minimal physical and mental energy are exerted ,are associated with less headaches, eyestrain, lower back pain, decreased emotional stress, and increased job satisfaction. When taking a break, it is essential to remove yourself from the work environment as much as possible. That means no checking emails, discussing work tasks with co-workers, or even eating lunch at your desk. Try to change the scenery to allow your mind to get a break from it all. Taking breaks earlier in the work shift are more beneficial than taking them later in the work period. Longer breaks such as lunch or frequent shorts breaks allow for the most resource recovery.
Temporarily taking breaks can be very challenging in the eye of a work storm. Most Americans don’t even take a full 30 minute break for lunch, but it is important for us to take this personal time to rest. Give your body time to rejuvenate and recover to increase productivity and your overall work experience.
For more information contact:
Family Consumer Sciences Agent