Brought to you by Ergonomics Quest:
When was the last time you took a break? Taking breaks throughout your workday can seem counterintuitive to productivity.
The truth is that taking a few minutes to yourself can be beneficial, both on a personal and professional level.
Read on for six reasons why you must take more frequent breaks.
Breaks Help with Creativity
Have you ever found yourself stumped by a problem only to have the solution come to you later when you’re no longer thinking about it?
The human brain can’t come up with creative ideas on demand. Give your brain plenty of downtime to stimulate your creativity. You’ll be more likely to find innovative solutions that help your business stand out.
Research has shown that people who take frequent breaks experience an increase in creativity  and are less likely to experience stress and creative block.
Researchers asked two groups to work on a task. The group they allowed to take a break came up with the most innovative solutions to the problem. The other group remained focused on the ideas they had already come up with.
Without breaks, you’ll be more likely to think of ideas that feel repetitive. Spending a few minutes away from your desk can help you gain a new perspective on your work.
Structure Your Day with Breaks
A common challenge for entrepreneurs is the pressure to fulfill many roles. Besides directing day-to-day operations, you’re probably finding yourself working on accounting, marketing, customer service, and finance tasks.
Balancing jobs is also a common challenge in startups and similar work environments where a handful of employees have to work on a wide variety of tasks.
Switching between tasks can become mentally exhausting and hurt your performance. Specific information can become muddled in your head, making you more likely to make mistakes.
Taking a short break is an easy way to create a transition between different tasks. You can create a schedule where you block time for your different roles and take a quick break between two blocks to give your brain a chance to process the previous tasks and prepare to work on something different.
Breaks Are Good for Your Health
Spending your entire day sitting at a desk isn’t ideal for your health . Ideally, you should take a break from sitting every 30 minutes to lower your risks of developing cardiovascular disease and other health issues.
A break is also an opportunity to hydrate yourself and eat a healthy snack. Did you know that being dehydrated can harm brain function? Not drinking enough water can cause you to feel tired and make it difficult to focus. Nutritionists also recommend eating between two or three meals a day to maintain energy levels .
Taking frequent breaks allows you to get the water and nutrition you need to be productive. It’s a chance to do a few stretching and eye exercises to prevent back pain and eye strain.
You can go further by optimizing your work environment to enhance your posture and encourage healthy habits. You might consider upgrading your old desk chair and getting an ergonomic chair that will promote a better sitting position.
Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Did you know that women tend to be less satisfied with their work-life balance? Juggling work obligations with other pressures women face can be challenging.
Taking breaks can help improve your work-life balance. A short break can give you a few minutes to think about something other than work or do something that you enjoy.
You can also use your breaks to make a quick phone call or text a loved one, check social media or chat with a coworker.
Using your breaks to check in with the people you love, take care of personal things, or simply focus on something other than work can help make your day feel more balanced.
It’ll be easier to feel satisfied with your job and focus on professional growth if you can achieve a good work-life balance.
Manage Stress Levels
Stress is a prevalent issue at work. Only 6% of workers say they don’t feel stressed . A fast-paced environment with new challenges can be stimulating and help you progress on a professional level, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
It’s crucial to find strategies for managing your stress at work. If you don’t take action, stress could result in poor performance and lead to burnout.
Taking breaks is a great way to manage your stress. A short break allows you to step away from the thing that is causing you stress so you can come back to it later with a different perspective. It’s true of challenging work-related tasks and conflicts with coworkers.
Researchers have also found that spending time in nature can help reduce stress . If you can take off for 15 to 20 minutes during your lunch break, look for a nearby park where you can walk and relax before getting back to work.
Be More Productive
Those who avoid taking breaks often do so to stay focused on their work and get more done. Taking breaks can seem counterintuitive when you have a lot of work to do, but the truth is that you’ll be more productive if you take a few minutes to relax.
Whether you take a short mid-morning break or a longer lunch break, stepping away from your desk for a while will make it easier to stay focused when you get back to work.
Research suggests that methods like the Pomodoro technique are a great way of improving productivity . This technique consists of working for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break and going back to work for another 25 minutes.
Taking breaks throughout the day and longer breaks in the form of vacation is beneficial to your business and your career. Breaks can help you stay focused, get more done during the day, and devise creative solutions to the problems you encounter. Breaks are also good for your health since they provide you with a chance to stretch, eat, and move around.