How long does a break from work take to make you feel better?
Not so long at all, according to a new research review on “small breaks,” which the authors defined as a break of 10 minutes or less. The results were published August 31 in the journal Science. PLUS ONE. People who took the breaks saw statistically significant improvements in their health — making them feel more energetic and less stressed. The findings, based on a review of 22 previously published studies including 2,335 participants, suggest that those who took small breaks had 60% better odds of feeling energized, according to Patricia Alpulescu and Coralia Solía, study co-authors and researchers at Western University of Timisoara in Romania.
Research has been less conclusive about whether or not small breaks improve work performance. The benefits varied from study to study and across different types of tasks, and in the end the effect was not statistically significant, although the researchers found that there was an improvement with increased rest periods.
However, there is strong evidence that for your average employee with an extension lazy Job, small breaks can have a big impact, says John B. Trogaku, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and an expert on breaks. (He did not participate in the new review). By combining short and long breaks in the work day, workers will feel better and produce better quality work.
Here’s what to know about small breaks, and how they can improve your workday.
Why are small commas important
Trogaku argues that the studies in the new review miss an important factor: Fatigue tends to get worse over time. Because the experiments in the 22 studies were time-constrained, it was not possible to measure the ways in which work fatigue could create a vicious performance loop.
“The more fatigued you feel, the more effort you have to put in to keep performing. So you’re actually putting in more and more effort and doing it less and less efficiently,” says Trogakos. “Short breaks, whether it’s a 10-minute break, a 5-minute break, or standing up and stretching, you give the person a chance to stop the depletion cycle, but also re-energize themselves a little bit.”
Overall, Trougakos says, although there isn’t a lot of research on small breaks and performance, the science points out the importance of short breaks. This includes studies from the angle of ergonomics, which have found that resting and stretching your eyes is essential to avoiding eye strain and skeletal fatigue – inconveniences that can distract and drain workers. Not taking enough breaks can negatively affect workers’ sleep quality and their lives outside of work, and gradually lead them to feel fatigued. Studies show that highly productive employees tend to work in relatively short periods, with long breaks – according to one study Published by a productivity and spending tracker company 52 minutes of work for every 17 minutes of rest. “The idea is: You don’t work more to be more productive; you work smarter to be more productive,” Trojakos says.
Perfect rest periods
The breaks you need may depend on what you do; For example, activities that you enjoy may drain you less than a task you hate or cause you a lot of stress. However, as a general rule, Trougakos recommend spending about 90 minutes working out, followed by a 15 or 20 minute break. Over the course of this working period, you will also take short breaks. Trougakos suggests a short, extended break every 20 or 30 minutes, as well as a break to “get off the job” somewhere in the middle of those 90 minutes.
But what’s the best way to rest during these short breaks? While there’s evidence that some things are good for everyone, like stretching, relaxation, or light-to-moderate physical activity (think: walking), Trojaku says, the best break depends on one’s preferences. For example, an extrovert might choose to have a cup of coffee with his friends at work, while an introvert might indulge in the outdoors with a book. The key, he says, is that you have control over what you do during the break.
Trougakos sure admits that some managers and companies will be concerned about letting their employees take too many breaks. Flexibility is key – employees have different needs for rest periods, which may vary by task or even from day to day. However, in many cases, Trougakos argue that switching to Hybrid tables And the Work from home It gave organizations and workers a new opportunity: to branch out and find new ways of working to increase productivity. While allowing break flexibility may seem counterintuitive to companies, it actually fits in with what most employers value: “to make people fully productive, but also healthy and have a balanced life,” Trojakos says.
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