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How Many Breaks Should You Take at Work?

06 June 2022

As it turns out, breaks at work are just as important as the actual work you do. You see, without breaks, you can’t maintain concentration levels throughout the day and you’ll inevitably burn out. Whilst this may not have an immediate impact on your day to day, long term you’ll end up hating your work and we all know where that leads. Not only are breaks important, but the way you spend them is crucial too.

Just to preface this advice, we know that not all people can take breaks whenever they want to at work. This is just a guide to best practices and how to go about it. Even if you get assigned breaks at certain times during the day, this advice still applies.

Why are breaks so important?

As mentioned above, breaks prevent burn out. Here are some other key advantages to taking breaks.

● Reduce vision deterioration. Any optician will tell you that to prevent straining your eyes, you should take regular breaks away from your screen. Constant eye strain can cause vision deterioration and headaches. When you break away from your screen, your eyes can relax.

● Reduce backache. Sitting in the same position for too long can cause chronic back pain, which can lead to work absences, pain, depression and insomnia. When you break, give your back a stretch.

● Mental wellness. Endless work without breaks can cause depression, anxiety and stress. Taking a break gives your mind a rest from work issues and allows you to mentally reboot before continuing.

● Better sleep. When you are working too hard, insomnia can follow. Regular breaks give you time to reset and prevent stress, which in turn promotes better sleep.

● Productivity boost. Regular breaks are correlated with better productivity because you are preventing the onset of burnout.

● Work satisfaction. You will enjoy your job more if you can take regular breaks away from your tasks and reset your mind and body before returning to them.

When Should You Take a Break

It is recommended that you take 5 to 10 minutes break every hour, at least from your screens. If you add this up however, it far exceeds any known break time allocation we’ve ever heard of. Which is why you need to get creative with your breaks. But we’ll get to that shortly.

As for when you should take breaks, we suggest that if you start at 9, you take a break at 11:00 am, lunch at 12:00 pm and another break at 3 to 3:30 depending on how long you work. Again, this is just a guide and not the only right answer.

How Should You Spend Your ‘Official’ Breaks

Your actual breaks away from work should be spent exactly that, away from work. Step back from the desk and go to do something else entirely. Call a friend or family member, go for a walk or just go and sit elsewhere. Try not to spend all your breaks on your phone as your eyes do need a rest from screens. But if you are going to sit on your phone, we suggest catching up with friends or reading a book as opposed to endless social media scrolling.

How To Spend Your Other ‘Breaks’

So as we mentioned earlier, it’s not possible to take a 5-10 minute break from work every hour. But, it is possible to step away from your desk for this time in many roles. Why not offer to make your desk clump a hot drink? Or if you work from home, step away from your computer to tidy your desk up a bit. Even walking to another department to ask a question you’ve been meaning to or chase an email is beneficial for your eyes and body.

Stand Up For Yourself

Literally. Standing desks are an incredible way of taking the strain off your back. Whilst it may not be the break from work you crave, it’s a break from sitting and that’s a tick in the win column almost every time.

Desks such as the Standing Desk Pro Series E7 are fully adjustable and can suit any height at any time. What’s more, this desk in particular features a dual-motor lifting system with 4 programmable memory presets. Meaning that you can go from sitting to standing with pure ease.

After all, standing helps you at work in a number of ways. From increased blood flow for better concentration to less strain on your back and neck for overall health.

You Deserve The Best

If you’re looking to upgrade your home office with ergonomically designed furniture, why not browse our range of long-lasting and award winning products? Or, if you need an extra helping hand choosing and finding the right products for you, take a look at our buyers guide or get in touch with us.