Take Short Breaks

Listen to Dr Priyanka Shekar

18th Apr 2023 • 04 Min and 37 Sec

Taking short breaks throughout the day improves your vision, perks your posture and boosts mood and concentration. It also reduces stress and boosts mood and creativity.


We are all mortals who want to improve our health and well-being with simple things without any hassle, but what is the right advice? Is it the habit of reading? Or is it singing out loud? Or going out in the sun? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr Priyanka, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.

Most of us work 8 hours or more, and we often have targets or deadlines that drive us to promptly complete our tasks on time. Sometimes working so much causes stress, anxiety and other health issues. Well, there might be a solution to this – It is taking ‘breaks’.

Taking short breaks throughout the day improves your vision, perks your posture and boosts mood and concentration. A break could mean doing some stretching exercises, going for a stroll, or getting coffee and chatting with a colleague.

You might think that taking breaks during work would make you less productive, but honestly, it is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind on a busy day.

These short breaks benefit many aspects of your health, especially your mental health. It helps your rewind and refocus with improved concentration. It also reduces stress and boosts mood and creativity.

A study has shown that taking short breaks in the workplace has a calming effect on employees by lowering their heart rates. Just getting up from your chairs and moving around is shown to stabilize your blood sugar levels and enable you to be more engaged and productive.

For those of you who spend the majority of your day looking at computer or laptop screens, taking short breaks relaxes eye muscles and helps prevent eye strain, watery or dry eyes and blurred vision.

Many of us sometimes feel guilty when we take breaks or let our minds wander during a busy day, especially when we have deadlines approaching.

But you do not have to; taking short breaks and letting your mind wander actually acts as a tool that boosts creative thinking, decision-making, and mental resilience and improves overall mood.

Research conducted among different groups of people shows the ideal time between breaks during a working day. It is shown that you have to take a 17-minute break every 52 minutes of working or doing anything that requires concentration. You can also split up your breaks with intervals according to your schedule and do what’s best for you!

During these breaks, make sure to rest for real. Most of you might not be actually relaxing, and some might have trouble separating yourselves from your work during these break times. What you do in these break times matters. Try to take breaks such as walking, reading a book, stretching and meditating, as they are the most effective forms to take your mind off work and truly relax.

You do not have to wait till you’re tired or till you’ve finished a task to take a break. Taking short breaks during work is not a waste of time. It can improve your productivity and help you avoid burnout. They also promote good work-life balance.

And you have to remember that these short breaks and rests are essential; do not consider them as a reward for finishing up a task.

So go ahead, take a break and let your mind wander. Use these breaks effectively to take care of your physical and mental well-being.

So if this is not one thing you are already doing, then do give it a try! Your eyes, mind and body, could get benefitted.

That’s one thing to include in your daily routine for improving your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” for a better tomorrow.