Seattle, WA: 206-521-5676 Olympia, WA: 360-236-8748 Portland/Salem, OR: 503-768-9742

Take A Break from Work - Mastering the Balance Between Rest and Productivity

In this blog, you will learn:

  • Understanding Active Breaks: There are health risks of prolonged desk work and active breaks can mitigate these issues.
  • Technology for Break Management: Apps can remind you to take necessary breaks for health and productivity.

  • Psychological Boosts from Breaks: Taking regular breaks can refresh your mind, enhance creativity, and reduce stress.

  • Social Benefits of Breaks: Breaks can improve workplace relationships and networking opportunities.
  • Incorporating Sunlight and Stretching: Understand the importance of natural light and regular stretching to improve mood, vitality, and prevent workplace injuries.

“Take A Break from Work – Mastering the Balance Between Rest and Productivity”

In today’s high-pressure and fast paced work environment, balancing productivity with essential rest periods is not just a luxury – it’s a necessity. At Solutions Northwest Inc., we recognize the important role of effective break practices in the workplace and how it benefits both physical health and mental sharpness. This guide, put together by office place ergonomics experts, draws on proven strategies and new insights to help you master the art of the work break and find the ideal work-life-balance.

Understanding the Need for Active Work Breaks

Long hours working at a desk can lead to health risks ranging from obesity, diabetes, and heart disease to carpal tunnel, digital eye strain, or other workplace injuries caused by repetitive strain on the body.

Active work breaks are a cornerstone of maintaining health and preventing the negative impacts of sedentary office life and repetitive movement. Simple activities like standing meetings or walking discussions not only combat physical inactivity but also stimulate engagement and creativity. Remember, integrating small movements throughout your day can substantially decrease health risks and increase your overall activity level.

Even simple tasks like taking a quick walk to grab coffee or even gazing out the window, gives our brains the break it needs to refresh.

Related Article: “5 Reasons Work Breaks Boost Productivity

Maximizing Breaks with Technology

When you’re focused on work, it can be easy to lose track of things. Technology offers practical solutions for managing and reminding us to take breaks.

Free apps like “Stretchly” and “Eye Care 20 20 20” remind users to take micro-breaks and rest their eyes, which is crucial for preventing digital eye strain and promoting regular physical activity. Or one can simply use the alarm clock app that comes with a smartphone to set a reminder to take a break from work.

You may think you’re getting more done by skipping your office work breaks, but this will hurt you in the end. Taking regular breaks allows your brain and body time to recharge and refocus, which will ultimately boost your work productivity.

Using the apps on your phone will make it simple, so you can focus on work and not constantly checking on the clock.

Related Article: “3 Free Apps That Serve as a Reminder to Take Work Breaks

Psychological and Creative Benefits of Breaks

As we’ve mentioned already, it’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking you can get more work done by skipping breaks. It’s quite the opposite, as taking regular breaks refreshes the mind, enhances problem-solving abilities, and reduces stress.

In fact, a brief pause can lead to a surge in productivity as it allows the brain to reset, giving you fresh perspectives on complex tasks. If you can add an element of physicality to your break, engaging in light activities such as walking or meditating during breaks, you can spark creativity and provide new solutions to ongoing challenges.

Related Article: “Taking Breaks Makes You More Productive at Work”

Social and Emotional Advantages of Taking Work Breaks

Workplace breaks also foster better workplace relationships by encouraging interactions outside of the regular work context. Socializing can lighten the mood and improve communication, which in turn can make the work environment more cooperative and collaborative.

Furthermore, getting to know your co-workers can benefit you from a networking standpoint. As the adage goes – it’s not always about what you know, but who you know.

Incorporating Sunlight into Your Break Routine

According to the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University, “workers without windows reported lower scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality.”

Exposure to natural light is crucial for your well-being, enhancing mood and energy through the release of serotonin. For those in windowless offices, it’s important to seek out sunlight during work breaks. Even short periods of exposure can uplift spirits and contribute to overall vitality, while also providing essential vitamin D.

Related Article: “Get some Sun on Your Work Breaks, It’s Good for You

Stretching: The Core of Effective Breaks

Including stretching as part of work breaks is crucial for counteracting the physical strains of prolonged desk work. Stretching regularly helps prevent repetitive strain injuries, improves posture at your desk, and increases flexibility, which are vital for maintaining long-term health in office environments.

By engaging in stretching activities during breaks, employees can alleviate the stiffness and discomfort associated with continuous computer use. These stretches focus on various parts of the body that typically experience tension and fatigue from office work, such as the wrists, back, and legs.

For those interested in specific stretching routines that can be integrated into the workday, we suggest reading: “3 Easy Stretches for Mouse Users” and “Lower Back Stretches for Computer Users.”

These resources are designed to help you understand which stretches are most beneficial for different needs and how to perform them safely and effectively.

Stay Proactive About Workplace Safety and Never Skip Work Breaks!

Integrating effective work break practices isn’t just about physical health – it’s about sustaining productivity, enhancing mental function, and maintaining happiness in the workplace. Whether it’s through active breaks, utilizing technology, or soaking up a few minutes of sunlight, the right approach can lead to a more satisfying and productive work life.

If keeping employees productive and health is your goal, consider reaching out to Solutions Northwest Inc. for a comprehensive ergonomic assessment. Our team of ergonomics experts is equipped to guide you through every stage of the process, from initial consultation to implementation and beyond.

Visit our website or contact us directly to learn more about how we can help you create a safer, more productive work environment for your team.

About Solutions Northwest Inc.

For a quarter of a century, Solutions Northwest Inc. has championed the cause of ergonomic excellence in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia, WA – assisting countless businesses in creating healthier and more productive workplaces.

Not based in the Pacific Northwest or need help with remote workers? Consider our Virtual Ergonomics Assessment available nationwide, a solution is always within reach.

Don’t compromise on your staff’s well-being and the overall efficiency of your workspace. Contact Solutions Northwest Inc. today and elevate your office environment. For ongoing insights and ergonomics tips, consider subscribing to our blog.

Contact the Ergonomics Experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773

Olympia, WA


Portland/Salem, OR


Seattle, WA


Contact our Ergonomics Experts

Pin It on Pinterest