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Feeling like you need a break from work? A micro-break may be just what the doctor orders. Micro-breaks range from around 30 seconds to 10 minutes. They’re helpful for clearing your mind and improving your mental health without being too distracting.  The West University of Timișoara in Romania has done research that says that micro-breaks can significantly increase your energy level and decrease fatigue.  They’ve set the upper time limit to 10 minutes based on previous studies on the subject.

In her conversation with Healthline, Jen Summers, PsyD, a utilization review specialist here at Lightfully Behavioral Health, told Healthline that “research shows that in just 27 seconds micro-breaks can reduce fatigue, increase performance, and optimize energy expenditure.”

The best activities for microbreaks include physical activities or walking away, anything from getting a drink of water to stretching or petting your dog.  Flipping to social media or another screen isn’t recommended. Instead, the article makes the recommendation of the 20-20-20 rule, which is to make sure that every twenty minutes you’re looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

While not everyone can take unscheduled breaks throughout the day, Dr. Summers says that the goal is to have 2 minutes of activity and 8 minutes of standing for every 20 minutes of sitting.

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