Do your workday breaks boost energy, concentration and motivation? A new study has confirmed the better way to take ten.
The study by two Baylor University researchers provides a greater understanding of workday breaks and offers suggestions on when, where and how to plan the most beneficial daily escapes from the J-O-B. The research also debunks some common break-time myths.
Researchers Emily Hunter and Cindy Wu surveyed 95 employees (ages 22-67) over a five-day workweek, and each person was asked to document each break they took during that time.
They chronicled and analyzed a total of 959 break surveys - an average of two breaks per person per day. They say the results of the study benefit both managers and employees.
The first key finding is that the most beneficial time to take a workday break is mid-morning. Hunter and Wu found that rather than the typical culture of working hard all morning only to take a lunch-hour or mid-afternoon break, a respite earlier in the workday replenishes more resources - energy, concentration and motivation.
Secondly, "better breaks" incorporate activities that employees prefer and third is that the people who take "better breaks" experience better health and increased job satisfaction.
Last but not the least, longer breaks are good, but it's beneficial to take frequent short breaks. While the study was unable to pinpoint an exact length of time for a better workday break (15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc.), the research found that more short breaks were associated with higher resources.
The study appears in the Journal of Applied Psychology.