• Wellness Workdays

Life Demands a Break


Does your afternoon productivity get you down? Are you heading into the 2:00 o’clock hour dragging your feet and feeling a little overwhelmed? You may need to start taking a lunch break. We are all guilty of eating at our desk, answering phones and using that extra 30 minutes to try to be more productive. Recent research tells us that only one in five people are stepping away from their desks for their lunch break.

If you want to be productive in the afternoon, you really need that 30-minute hiatus from work. Simple items like getting enough to eat, 15 minutes of meditation or stepping away from the problem you are focusing on can bring your workload into perspective. The 30 minutes you took to refresh your mind may save you an hour of problem solving later. Creativity is like a cell phone battery; if you don’t recharge it, it runs out. A lunch break serves that purpose and lends itself to “ah-ha” moments. Are you tired of sitting? Consider a brief high intensity workout or 15 minutes of stretching. Research tells us that we are least likely to injure ourselves working out between 3 and 6 pm and that muscle strength is at its highest between 2 and 6 pm. Perhaps you need some fresh air and sunshine? Soak up a little extra vitamin D by heading outside; fifteen minutes of sunshine could make of world of difference for your afternoon. Twenty minutes of napping allows the brain to sift through the days’ data and make room for new information and higher cognitive function.

Bottom Line: Our brains need time to process the influx of information we feed them each morning. Increase your productivity, creativity, job quality and overall health by taking the time to step outside and recharge mentally and physically. Take that 30-minute break back today.

Written by: Ariel Beaird, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern

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