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Zoom fatigue. Eye strain. Body aches. Working remotely can create challenges for your body and mind. Finding time to take breaks throughout the day can help alleviate stress, improve your mood and boost work performance. Lauren Weatherford, West Virginia University Extension Service Families and Health agent in Fayette and Nicholas counties, provides some tips on how to take effective breaks to improve focus and productivity.
Audio file: "Non-stop work with a break"
“Non-stop work without a break isn’t healthy. We get tired, stiff, and we can feel stressed and burnt out. Taking regular breaks helps us make better decisions, spark creativity, stay focused and improve our mood and job satisfaction.”
Audio file: "Taking breaks is a learned behavior"
“Taking breaks is a learned behavior, and building positive habits requires repetition. You have to figure out what kind of breaks are most effective and work best for you. They can change depending on the type of work you do or even who you work with.”
“There are breaks that contribute to healthy behavior and those that are less beneficial. Taking a break that turns off your brain is not ideal. Don’t watch television or play solitaire; instead find a break that stimulates both your brain and your body. Getting physical activity is always a terrific choice. Taking a 10-minute walk has wonderful benefits for your body and mood.”
“Find somewhere other than your desk to eat your lunch. Taking a lunch break can improve mental well-being and boost creativity resulting in improved self-care and physical health. Getting outdoors, being physically active or even running an errand is better than staying at your desk.”
“Whatever you do, make it count. Choose what makes you feel better. You may even find you start looking forward to returning to your work just as much as you look forward to your breaks.”
— Lauren Weatherford, Family and Community Development agent Fayette and Nicholas counties, WVU Extension Service
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