A few minutes should be enough: Even micro-breaks give you an energy boost

There must be a break at work.

A few minutes should be enough: Even micro-breaks give you an energy boost

There must be a break at work. It is usually half an hour or even an hour long. A research team from Romania is now calling for more micro-pauses lasting less than ten minutes, at least a few seconds. They should already effectively reduce tiredness and give you more energy.

At least a few seconds and at most ten minutes: This is how long so-called micro-pauses last, which, according to a study, can have a positive effect on people's well-being. The short breaks could reduce fatigue in everyday work or study and increase energy levels, writes Patricia Albulescu's team from the Romanian West University of Timisoara (Timisoara) in the online specialist magazine "PLOS ONE".

For the study, the researchers evaluated 22 studies on the subject as part of a meta-analysis. The results showed that people felt more energetic and less tired after micro-breaks. The analysis did not yield any clear results as to whether work is more productive after a break or not. However, the performance has at least not decreased, reports the team.

"These micro-breaks are not actually used for recovery, but to prevent overtiredness," explains the psychologist Friedhelm Nachreiner, chairman of the Society for Industrial, Economic and Organizational Psychology Research, who was not involved in the study. According to him, micro-breaks therefore also have an impact on performance. The breaks should therefore not be taken too late.

His criticism of the study: The authors evaluated too few studies and did not take note of standard literature. He also complains that the study participants had assessed their energy levels and fatigue themselves. "The authors do not distinguish clearly between fatigue and perceived fatigue," says the researcher on working hours.

The authors of the study themselves explain that in addition to energy and tiredness, other states of mind, such as fear or tension, will also have to be analyzed in the future. In addition, according to their own statements, they could not answer when and how long a micro-break would ideally have to take place. According to Nachreiner, this cannot be fixed in general. "Some people don't need a break that quickly, while others need it earlier and longer," explains the labor time researcher. "Five minutes for everyone - that would be nonsense, for example."

According to the authors of the study, many employees still have the feeling that breaks could be perceived as "counterproductive behavior". With a view to the positive effects, they therefore advocate that managers actively encourage their employees to take micro-breaks in the future. Even in everyday university life, the short breaks could help students to recharge their batteries - for example in lectures or when studying on the computer.

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