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Have A Break


"Have A Break"

March 12, 2020
Have A Break

Breaks are an important part of the world of education – it is vital and needed, not only for studying but even when piled up with everyday life and responsibilities. Here is a summary of research about the importance of breaks, written by Meg Selig.

1. Movement breaks.

These are essential for your physical and emotional health. Constant sitting—whether at your desk, the TV, or the lecture hall—puts you at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Getting up from your chair to walk, stretch, do yoga, or whatever activity you prefer can reduce the negative health effects from too much sitting. Just a 5-minute walk every hour can improve your health and well-being.

2. Breaks can prevent “decision fatigue.”

Author S.J. Scott points out that the need to make frequent decisions throughout your day can wear down your willpower and reasoning ability. Decision fatigue can lead to simplistic decision-making and procrastination.

3. Breaks restore motivation, especially for long-term goals.

According to author Nir Eyal, “When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, research shows briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later on.” Psychology professor Alejandro Lleras says, "when faced with long tasks, it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!"

4. Breaks increase productivity and creativity.

Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion. Taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative. “Aha moments” came more often to those who took breaks, according to research. Other evidence suggests also that taking regular breaks raises workers’ level of engagement which, in turn, is highly correlated with productivity.

5. “Waking rest” helps consolidate memories and improve learning.

Scientists have known for some time that one purpose of sleep is to consolidate memories. However, there is also evidence that resting while awake likewise improves memory formation. During a rest period, it appears that the brain reviews and ingrains what it previously learned.

Science writer Ferris Jabr summarizes the benefits of breaks in this Scientific American article: “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life … moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.”

So, if you ever feel you need a break – take one!

Plan them out so that you can have active, refreshing, scheduled breaks throughout your studying or productive activities so that you can remain on top of them!!


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