5 Reasons Why You Should Take Breaks at Work


There are two types of people in the office: those who are ‘too busy’ to take breaks, and those who take their well-earned time-out in the middle of the day. If you’re not one of the latter, that needs to change.

Work breaks aren’t just a luxury and aren’t counterproductive either – far from it! For those who spend the majority of their days sitting at a desk or staring at a screen, regular breaks are an absolute must for both your physical and mental health. Here’s why…


1 - Breaks improve your focus

When you’re deep in the middle of a project and the focus is flowing, everything is great! But when that concentration starts to wane, keeping yourself in the zone becomes almost impossible. Our average attention span ranges from 15 – 40 minutes, after which time the struggle is real.

The key to refocusing is stepping away to take a break. You don’t have to go splurging your valuable time on an hour-long lunch break – even a couple of five-minute breaks during the day will help regroup your thoughts and recharge those problem-solving skills.


2 - Breaks help you remember more

Our brains have two modes: focused and diffused. While we adopt the former state to learn and work, the latter comes into play when we’re not actively ‘thinking’, but is no less important.

Have you ever noticed your best ideas suddenly come out of nowhere, like when you’re driving, working out, in the shower, or daydreaming? It’s no coincidence.

When we give our brains a break, there’s plenty going on behind the scenes, including solidifying what we’ve learned and done during the day.


3 - Breaks keep you zen

In an age where we’re connected almost every minute of every day, consider using your breaks at work as a mini digital detox. There are some awesome free meditation apps out there – seriously, don’t knock ‘em until you try ‘em!

Smiling Mind and Headspace are just two apps that have ace guided programs to help you tune in to your current status and leave you feeling a little lighter, ready to catch whatever the afternoon throws at you.


4 - Breaks inspire creativity

Getting active during the workday means an increased blood-flow, which encourages creative thinking. Even a 20-minute walk can help your brain circuits start firing the right way, improving memory and performance.

It’s pretty simple: get out and get inspired! Whether you break by meditating, scribbling, reading, walking, or having lunch with a friend, this time could be just want you need to bust out those big ideas.


5 - Breaks improve your general wellbeing

In case you’ve skipped right to the end, let’s reiterate: breaks help reduce stress, improve memory, enhance focus and inspire creativity, not to mention ease the strain on your eyes, back, and brain.

If you still feel like you really can’t afford to take a break, look at swapping out some of your desk-bound behaviours. Conduct your phone conferences on the move, or take your working lunch outside. A little goes a long way!

Ashton Rigg