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Health Benefits of Microbreaks

by Patrick O’Loughlin on Monday 9 May 2022

Jam-packed workdays can make taking a break tough, especially if you’re under the pump. But if there’s anything to learn from microbreaks, it’s that finding a few moments for yourself can be a gamechanger – for your health and your productivity.

How Microbreaks Offer Big Advantages

So, why take a microbreak if you’re really under the pump? Unlike a leisurely lunch break, microbreaks only last a few minutes. This makes them easy to squeeze into even the busiest of workdays. And although your rest may seem brief, microbreaks can work impressively to improve productivity and long-term physical and mental health.

The Physical Health Benefits Of Microbreaks

Unsurprisingly, humans aren’t designed to sit at computers all day. But the problem is it’s not always obvious when our bodies are undergoing physical strain. This is why small breaks – which often include standing up and stretching – can help prevent long-term physical injuries.

This is because microbreaks allow for posture correction and soft tissue mobility, which relieves strain on sensitive body structures, such as your neck and back.

The mental health benefits of microbreaks

Microbreaks have also been proven to help suppress attention decline and boredom in assembly workers. This improved long-term mental health of workers by improving their attitudes to their job. The increase in attention also resulted in fewer work-related injuries due to more sustained focus.

Even tiny breaks help when your work centres around repetitive tasks. A study found surgeons taking breaks of just 20 seconds every 20 minutes helped manage fatigue and attention loss during extended surgeries.

Simple microbreak suggestions

Finding the right amount of time for a microbreak isn’t an exact science, which is why experimenting with the length of your breaks can be useful. And although the respites are short, the list of microbreak activities is not! You could:

  • work on a sudoku or crossword puzzle
  • make a cup of tea
  • do some stretches (especially your neck and back if you work at a computer)
  • have a snack
  • work on arts and crafts
  • make lunch for the next day
  • plan your weekend
  • walk around the block
  • chat with a colleague.

This is far from an all-inclusive list, though, and you might already have something in mind for your next break. If not, mixing it up regularly and trying new things is highly recommended.

Get More Out Of The Day By Taking A Microbreak

Even if your day is busy, a small break is an easy way to build a healthier routine and improve your long-term physical and mental health.

If you’re looking for other ways to improve your mental and physical health, why not consider improving your fitness? Book a free tour at your nearest Virgin Active club and learn how fitness can positively impact your daily routine.

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