The benefits of taking micro-breaks

Many know the feeling of looking at the clock and realising you haven’t left your desk or stood up for at least 3-4 hours. We all know we need to take more breaks and stop seeing regular breaks as a luxury. Having an always on culture coupled with the pressure of work can be hard on our bodies both mentally and physically. This is where studies have shown that introducing micro-breaks helps to reduce stress and improve concentration.

A micro-break is a short break you take during your working day. This could be standing up and stretching or stepping outside for 5 minutes of fresh air. You can do pretty much anything during this short break besides work, this will keep energy levels high and reduce strain on your body.

Spending hours staring at a screen puts strain on your eyes. When these body parts get tired productivity levels decrease and eventually employee’s health and well-being begin to decrease. This is why it’s important to introduce your employees to the importance of taking micro-breaks.

Why not try some of these techniques to interrupt your focus and reboot your brain:

1. The 20/20/20 exercise to reduce eye strain.
Every 20 minutes, stare at an object at least 20 feet away from you for at least 20 seconds. This is a great habit to get into because it helps reduce headaches at the end of the working day.
2. Practice breathing.
We would recommend simply sitting, closing your eyes and breathing in and out. Deep breathing periodically throughout the day can help to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s the perfect break to reset your mind and refocus for the day.
3. Increase your water intake.
Ensuring your hydrated is key to keeping motivated and focused throughout the day. Studies show that dehydration increased stress, anxiety and fatigue. Drinking more water is the perfect micro-break.
4. Get outside and breathe in some fresh air.
Fresh air not only helps us mentally, but it helps us to physically sleep better at night. Stepping outside and focusing on nature for a couple of minutes extra a day can increase your focus.
5. Catch-up with a friend.
Having a quick catch-up call with a friend helps to break up your working day and boosts your mood. We would encourage this to employees working from home so not to distract other employees working within an office setting.

Micro-breaks are easy to implement and should be encouraged by companies. They’ve been shown to increase productivity and energy levels. After all, you’re never too busy to take a quick 5-minute break!

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