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Benefits of breaks for work

Many managers encourage the workaholism of their employees. They believe that if workers will work hard all day long, then the productivity, of course, will be higher, and the desired results will be achieved faster. In fact, the lack of rest during the working day is bad for health and doesn’t speed up, but rather slows down the implementation of tasks.

If you don't take a break when you are working, the brain activity will greatly reduce, and physical resources gradually run out, which doesn’t have a good effect on labor productivity. Thoughts are scattered, concentration is lost, which is why the employees are distracted from the main task by social networks, dreams about the future, talking on the phone or watching videos on the Internet. So it’s worth taking seriously the question of whether is a benefit of taking regular breaks working at the computer or in any other type of activity.


1. Impact of interruptions on working capacity

2. 10 ways to spend your lunch break

3. When you can't take a break

Impact of interruptions on working capacity

The brain, like the body, requires rest, a temporary respite from mental work. Even a ten-minute time-out will help "recharge the dead battery", thereby increasing the efficiency. Everyone decides what kind of break they should take to restore their strength, but usually we need 30-60 minutes for replenishment.

One of the key "PROS" of breaks is the generation of non-standard solutions. When you are doing the work that requires a creative approach, you need to look at it from a completely new angle – you can take a break and just “do nothing”. This break is called the "incubation period", when creative thinking is active and the person seems to be doing nothing, but the unconscious workflow is still working on a problem. At such moments great innovative solutions can come.

In addition, when working without a break at the office on a computer and sitting in a chair, to which the employee is chained all day long, the physical health also suffers. Many hours of sedentary activity negatively affects the spine, contributing the development of its pathologies, even if you maintain the correct posture.

And now let's look at the top 5 arguments in favor of taking a break:

1. Movement during a break maintain good emotional and physical well-being. Even 3-5 minutes of walking every working hour will reduce the negative consequences of sedentary work to a possible minimum. What risks are we talking about? These are heart diseases, obesity, osteochondrosis, diabetes, depression and many other pathologies. And all this because of long sitting at one place without movement.

2. Time-outs are a prevention from exhaustion due to frequent decision-making. It turns out that this process reduces brain activity, as a result the person loses the ability to reason soberly and loses willpower. A striking example of this is the judges in Israel, who decided on parole in favor of prisoners more often if they were working intermittently. When they were very tired due to the inability to rest during the working day, the positive decision almost slipped to zero, since in conditions of fatigue due to making a large number of decisions, it was easier to say "no". This simplified everything.

3. A break will restore motivation, which is especially important if you need to achieve long-term goals. While you are working, the prefrontal cortex (frontal lobes) tries its best to solve the problems. But if it’s a very difficult job that requires increased concentration and attention, then you will only be able to achieve success through short-term distractions from work to rest. It will help you recover, refresh, and increase your motivation.

4. The pause increases productivity and improves creative thinking. Long working periods without rest deplete the body and reduce stress resistance. After that, there is a period of creative progress when the work continues "with a bang".

5. Daily rest helps to consolidate the acquired knowledge, which means that learning is more effective. This is important for people whose work is related to the educational sphere, office employees, programmers, scientists, creative people, as well as schoolchildren and students. "Waking rest" helps the memory processes, as the brain during periods of relaxation reviews the past material and fixes it deep in its bowels.

It turns out that you need to know, how to take the rest in a right way. There is a whole art of breaks organizing. To do everything correctly and not get carried away, crossing the line between a short timeout and two hours of idleness, you can use special applications, such as a simple time tracker Checkiant for proper distribution of working time.

10 ways to spend your lunch break

To keep up with everything at work and feel at the same time "not dying of fatigue and exhaustion", it’s important to observe the work and break schedule throughout the day. Some people say that you need to take a pause every hour for five minutes, others are sure that it should be one full hour a day and no more, and others recommend to take a nap at lunch. How to spend your timeout is up to you, but there is no doubt that the duration of a break from work should be at least 30 minutes. And it is better to take a full hour lunch break. Probably, there aren’t such employees who don't know how to manage their free time. Lets . talk about the most useful and effective methods for relaxing during the workflow:

1. Eating is number one on your to-do list for your free time. You need to feed the brain and body with the right products that activate all the necessary processes in the body and increase productivity. For these purposes, fish, vegetables, cereals, fruits, bread, natural yogurt are the best choice. Sweet tooth can eat a couple of slices of dark chocolate with a Cup of coffee. This "fuel" will quickly give the desired effect, and the brain engine will work with renewed vigor.

2. A flow of thoughts is an idea for workaholics who won't leave the workplace during their break even at “gunpoint”. If you want to think – please, but only in a relaxed state, for example, lying on the couch or leaning your head back in the chair and listening to pleasant, soothing music. And most importantly – without active "combat" actions.

3. Reading a book is an opportunity to escape from reality to another world with its fascinating stories, get charged with positive emotions and get distracted from the work routine.

4. You can also take a nap – just 20 minutes of sleep during the day helps to activate brain activity and get rid of fatigue. If you are the type of person who doesn't know how to fall asleep in the middle of the day, you can just lie down for 15-20 minutes with your eyes closed, thinking about something pleasant and relaxing.

5. Listening to music is the most enjoyable part of your lunch break. You can include your favorite tracks as soon as the break came into its own, sing along and even dance. If this method helps you "reboot", then why not!

6. Exercise – you don't have to grab a gym bag hidden under the table and run to the gym. Although, if you like sports, and your gym is located near the office, then this is possible. And there is also a more convenient method that allows you to keep fit during the working break. All you need is a practice mat, a bottle of water, and headphones with music or an online workout.

7. Swim – you can go to the pool if it’s located not so far from work. Swimming will help you relax, relieve stress, and restore your mental balance.

8. Time for meditation – suitable for all those who like to think and reflect, as well as adherents of yoga. Just 15 minutes spent in the Lotus position with your eyes closed listening the sounds of nature or just relaxing music will help you fully relax and restore your strength.

9. Take a walk – nature and fresh air have a positive effect on brain activity, physical and psycho-emotional health. You can take your lunch and eat it in the park on a bench or near the fountain. Or just walk down the street or on the territory of the company – the main thing is that you need to be in the open-air.

10. Communication with family, friends and colleagues – our loved ones are the most important part of life. A conversation with your parents, best friend, or colleagues with a сup of coffee will lift your mood, strengthen your spirit, and motivate you to continue the work.

When is the best time to take a break? The most productive hours of the brain working are from 9.00 to 12.00 a.m.The decline in its activity begins immediately after this period – from 00.00 to 2.00. p.m. At this time, you need to take a pause. And our list of ideas can help you there.

When you can't take a break

You need to take rest at work to restore your strength and avoid incurring the indignation of the manager. After all, in addition to workaholics who deny themselves time-outs, there are also those who take too many of them. Things happen. And if one full-fledged lunch break was not enough and after an hour the feeling of fatigue appears again – you can take additional breaks. Experts recommend doing 7-minute relaxation sessions every 53 minutes of work activity.

Long-term work without rest is an extremely high load on the body. And these are not just the empty words, because so many workaholics suffer from problems with the spine, heart, and even obesity, have poor eyesight and suffer from headaches. And not to give away most of your paycheck for the medicines, it’s worth changing the work schedule, diluting the time of work with breaks.

If you can not take a full break, then you should use the following tips:

  • change your body position – take a couple of steps around the office if you have a sedentary job or do work that can be done sitting down if you are constantly on the move;
  • drink water - every hour drink a glass of water taking small sips. It will be good for both the body and the brain;
  • massage the back of the head, temples, earlobes and stretch the neck – it’s a mini-rest with benefits for the body;
  • turn on the background music – let it be a relaxing meditation melody, rain or sea sounds or birdsong;
  • open the window – in summer, let it be always open, and in cold weather for 5-10 minutes every 1.5-2 hours.

Do not neglect the rest during the working process, because the benefits of breaks from work have been proven more than once. And you can probably see the difference between a working day without a lunch break and with a full-time one-hour rest. If you want tasks to be completed on time without losing quality, take a break and enjoy life, restore your strength, take care of your health and, at the same time, increase the productivity of your work.

Sea also:

The most productive hours for the brain working

Top 10 factors that affect productivity

Procrastination! What’s that in simple terms?

Top 10 techniques for work motivation

How can a work team use the time-tracker Checkiant? 6 simple examples