You've got an hour to spare at work and what do you usually do? Do you catch up on social media? Savor your lunch and coffee? Sneak some sleep? Or are you the type to keep working?
Breaks at work are supposed to give you a chance to reset physically and mentally, and a team of experts from Baylor University said that many employees don't know how to maximize this, according to a press release.
So, the experts have come up with some suggestions on how to take work breaks effectively, after studying 95 employees during a week:
1. Mid-morning breaks are best and researchers say that delaying breaks can have an effect on health. "We found that when more hours had elapsed since the beginning of the work shift, fewer resources and more symptoms of poor health were reported after a break," the researchers wrote in their study.
2. Doing whatever you like or chose is the best way to enjoy your break. "Finding something on your break that you prefer to do - something that's not given to you or assigned to you - are the kinds of activities that are going to make your breaks much more restful, provide better recovery and help you come back to work stronger," said Emily Hunter, one of the study authors, in the press release. You could be building with Legos on your work break and that would be fine, as long as it's what you like to do.
3. Taking shorter, frequent breaks is better than one long break. "Unlike your cellphone, which popular wisdom tells us should be depleted to zero percent before you charge it fully to 100 percent, people instead need to charge more frequently throughout the day," said Hunter.
4. Those who take "better breaks" are likely to have better health and job satisfaction. This is because they feel less exhausted, less burned out, strained and stressed. "People like to use the word 'burnout' freely, but real burnout is a serious, life-altering problem because it means you either can't do your job effectively anymore or can't find any enjoyment within it," said psychologist Rob Dobrenski via Shape Magazine.
The Baylor study was published in the journal American Psychological Association.