Here’s How To Maximize Your Workday Breaks

Do you count walking to the office bathroom as taking a break? What about keeping one eye on your email while checking the News feed on your cell phone with the other? Or eating a sad-looking salad at your desk for lunch?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, your workday needs a serious upgrade.

Many of us don’t take any breaks at work — roughly 80 percent of U.S. employees don’t even take a lunch break — and when we do, we’re often going about them the wrong way.

In a new study, researchers from Baylor University found, our health, productivity and job satisfaction can suffer when we don’t make good use of the time we take to step away from work-related activities.

For the study, researchers asked 95 employees to record all the breaks they took over the course of a workweek, which added up to a total of 959 breaks, or an average of two breaks per person each day.

These breaks consisted of any period of time during which employees disengaged from work-related tasks, from an hour-long lunch with coworkers to a few minutes spent checking personal email — they did not, however, include bathroom breaks. Afterwards, the employees were asked questions about their productivity and well-being.

“We took some of our layperson hypotheses about what we believed were helpful in a break and tested those empirically in the best way possible,” Dr. Emily Hunter, one of the study’s authors, said in a statement. “What we found was that a better workday break was not composed of many of the things we believed. “

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to go outside or even leave your desk Hunter said.

Using the responses from the employees the researchers were able —> Read More