How Often Should You Take Breaks At Work?
Do you forget about your work breaks because of your heavy workload?
Is your work schedule too tight for you to be able to take breaks?
If you’re working long hours without a break, you might not be as productive as you could be. We explore why taking regular breaks at work is good for you and what can happen if you don’t take breaks.
Many of us do not take breaks during our working day because we think that we do not have time. But, working without a break can have a detrimental effect and could make you less efficient, less productive and lead to health problems.
In order to maintain a good work balance and perform your best, it’s important that you take regular breaks during your day. These breaks enable you to switch off from work and rejuvenate. Eating a meal also helps replenish your energy.
What happens if you don’t take a break?
A rest break during work has a beneficial effect on your performance, concentration and health. It also leads to motivation and work satisfaction.
Sitting for long periods of time can lead to the following issues:
You could be hunched over a computer, which can cause tension in your neck and shoulders and constrict your respiratory and digestive systems.
Sitting for too long can also lead to circulatory problems in your legs.
If you do have a heavy workload with many tasks to handle this could lead to stress, which in turn can cause high blood pressure and stomach problems.
Not taking a break could also impact your safety. Losing focus on a task can result is careless work methods and lead to accidents.
How to manage your breaks
Each break that you take relieves your body and mind of exhaustion. You should be able to decide yourself when you take your breaks so that if you are in a middle of a task you can finish it and then rest. This will also reduce the likeliness of errors being made.
The time to take a break is when you start feeling tired and losing concentration!
Take several short breaks rather than one long break
Remove yourself from your work area and rest in a ‘breakout’ room
If you have been sitting for a long time, take your break standing or in motion
Go for a walk and talk to colleagues
Perform relaxation exercises
Establish work share roles so that breaks can be taken when needed
Managers must act as role models and take breaks
Emphasise the necessity of work breaks
If working from home or mobile working; ensure you have a contractual agreement that includes rest periods.
You have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if you work more than 6 hours a day. This could be a tea or lunch break.
You have the right to 11 hours rest between working days, e.g., if you finish work at 8pm, you shouldn’t start work again until 7am the next day.
You have the right to either:
- An uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week
- An uninterrupted 48 hours without any work each fortnight
For more information or to arrange for an Ergo Squad representative to evaluate your workspace to help your business achieve its potential, please get in touch using the form below. And, if you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it with your social networks!