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Tired at the office? Take some microbreaks

August 16, 2022

Is working long hours without leaving the computer synonymous with productivity? Some people think so. However, a study conducted by North Carolina State University, in the United States, and published by Science Daily, points out that taking short breaks during the workday helps keep energy levels high and, consequently, have better performance and engagement at work.

The paper is based on two studies that aimed to improve our understanding of how people increase or maintain their energy levels throughout the day in order to engage with work even when they start the day already exhausted. The studies examined what factors might play a role in determining whether people took microbreaks, or what they did during those microbreaks.

“A microbreak is, by definition, short,” said Sophia Cho, co-author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, to the journal. “But a five-minute break can be golden if you take it at the right time. Our study shows that it is in a company’s best interest to give employees autonomy in terms of taking microbreaks when needed — it helps employees effectively manage their energy and engage in their work throughout the day.”

The results were clear: on days when people were already tired when they got to work, they tended to take microbreaks more often. And taking breaks helped them maintain their energy level. This, in turn, helped them meet the job’s demands and engage better at work.

Experts heard by another vehicle, Valor Econômico, propose taking breaks in the routine lasting three to five minutes, associated with light to moderate intensity movements. This is what they call “active breaks”: any activity that is comfortable for the body is valid, such as walking, climbing stairs, dancing, watering plants, playing with the child, doing squats, stretching, squatting, or light exercises for the spine. According to the experts, the exercises must be done two to six times a day, standing up.

Source: ScienceDaily | Valor Econômico