There are only so many hours in a day and many deadlines to meet. No time to waste or time for a break. Behind on work and would like to leave on time to go home at the end of the day. Stop! Contrary to what one may believe, taking breaks will not set you back. Breaks actually have many benefits including, reducing stress, restoring energy, and relieving muscle strain. So take a break!

Discussion Points:
• Breaks have many benefits
• Breaks and lunch should be scheduled into the workday
• Take breaks and lunch in a designated area away from the work environment
• If you work for long periods of time on a computer, follow the 20-20-20 rule
• Laws determining breaks are made by the state

Many employers set high demands on their workers by setting production requirements. Many workers attempt to meet these demands by working through their breaks and lunch. Others will take their breaks and lunch at their desk. No matter how busy you are, it’s important to take short breaks throughout the day. Research shows that short breaks increase production.
Breaks should be meaningful. Put the phone down and move away from your computer screen. Taking your break looking at emails is not restorative. If you work for long periods of time at your desk, get up and go for a walk or do some stretching. If you stand for long periods of time and your work is physically demanding, get off your feet and take a seat. In the United States, there are no regulations governing breaks. Laws regarding rest periods and meal breaks are determined at the state level and vary from state to state. Employers should schedule breaks and lunch into the workdays. They should encourage their workers to take breaks and lunch as scheduled and clarify that breaks are important. There should be a designated area away from the work environment for employees to take their breaks. This break-room should allow the worker a period of quietness and time for rest. Studies show that one half-hour lunch break is not enough. Employees should be allowed to take a 15 to 20-minute break every 90 minutes. There should be two scheduled 15-minute breaks and one lunch period of at least 30 minutes in an eight-hour workday. If you work for long periods of time on a computer, besides the scheduled breaks and lunch, you should follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will
allow your eyes to refocus and rehydrate.

At the end of the day, taking scheduled breaks is good for workers’ health, improves morale, and increases production.

As always, stay safe out there!