Here’s The Best Way To Take A Workday Break
If you’re a working adult, chances are you sit in an office for eight-plus hours per day. You probably already know that taking breaks is necessary for your health, but how you take them could make all the difference. Just a few steps will help you maximize your time away from the desk.
Why You Need A Break
Researchers at the Illinois News Bureau found that in general, taking short breaks from work increases productivity. According to their study, the brain loses attentional resources after focusing on one task for a long period of time. Despite spending less time on your work, you are more likely to complete it efficiently than if you didn’t take a break.
Here’s How To Take The Ultimate Break
Staring into the distance for a few minutes or walking to the kitchen to heat up your lunch doesn’t count as a break. Here’s a way to refresh your brain efficiently, no matter where you work:
Take a brief walk through any greenery (if possible) with a friend.
You’d be surprised how refreshed you’ll feel after getting up and moving in the middle of the workday. Researchers at the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that after tasking 30 sedentary participants to take hourly five-minute walks, their overall mood improved and fatigue levels decreased.
If you work in a city, like us, finding some nature isn’t easy, especially when you really only have 15 to 20 minutes max. That said, find a park if possible and walk a few laps. Researchers from the British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a study in which twelve participants walked through three different environments: a city shopping street, a green space and a busy street with offices. The participants wore mobile electroencephalography devices, which tracked their level of pleasure and stress. Pleasure levels overall peaked during walks through the green space.
If you have a close work friend, bring him or her along. The New York Times reports that communal work breaks may bring coworkers together while revitalizing their attention spans and focus during the day. In an interview with the NYT, Ben Waber, president and C.E.O. of Sociometric Solutions, a workplace consulting firm, said that taking breaks with work friends is crucial to office productivity.
The Bottom Line
Taking a workday break is absolutely necessary to keeping yourself healthy and sane, but be picky about the way you take it. If you get all the elements right, you can boost your productivity and feel amazing. At 3 p.m. on a Wednesday, you’re going to thank yourself. Trust us.