Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / MAY. 11, 2016
version 7, draft 7

How Taking Regular Breaks at Work Can Increase Your Productivity

happy employee

Your boss is going to hate me but I it’s not my fault, this is not my research. These are actually facts that have been proven by science. The benefits are not only psychological but they  are also obviously physical, as prolong periods of being stationary can lead to obesity, increased risk of diabetes and affect the skeletomuscular system.  So, take a little more in depth look at why taking regular breaks at work can increase your productivity.

See Also: 5 Bad Work Habits To Break In 2016


We’ve all experienced hitting a mental “wall” while completing a mentally arduous task. A phenomenon known as vigilance decrement results in depletion of cognitive resources which in turn negatively affect productivity. The brain being the a**hole that is, has a built in mechanism that starts to filter anything that it considers “noise”.

Egregiously this “noise” can even include the voice of a loved one or more specific to our subject, a repetitive task at work (it even happens to your ability to see your nose in your peripheral vision but you never really see it). Thus, since prolonged focus on one task starts to register as insignificant, by taking intermittent breaks, the brain reproaches the task as new and thus with renewed focus.  


The best way to recharge those mental batteries is by moving away from the screen and moving around. Yes, I know you’d prefer to sit down on a candy bar and scroll through Facebook and Twitter and although they could be considered as a break, too, they do little to alleviate mental fatigue. Beyond the immediate health benefits of not being seated for extended periods of time, walking has been proven to release a cocktail of feel good hormones and get the blood flowing, oxygenating that big ole clump of grey cells we call a brain. Oh and just for a (much healthier) cherry on top, walking specifically has been proven to increase mood and lower cholesterol and help prevent diabetes. If you get outside and walk in the park, congratulations, you just put your brain in a meditative state lowering even further your stress levels.

Learn From The Best

Many creative geniuses must have realized the benefit of intense periods of production interspersed with (often extended) breaks. Their daily routines included leisure time, exercise and time for loved ones/family. Although, as expected, there are exceptions to every rule this pattern seems to be repeated frequently for creative geniuses such as Mozart, Freud, Darwin and Tchaikovsky.

Social Break

You might have heard of a psychological phenomenon known as the chameleon effect. Basically, it says that people will often mimic individuals that they are in close proximity with. If you have a coworker that is working hard and you are having a hard time focusing, just move over close to them and your brain might subconsciously switch into work mode. I know, it’s weird but here’s the evidence for this little hack.

See Also: How to Break Into the Fashion Industry According to Zoolander

Is there something that I forgot to mention? Let me know in the comments section below.

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