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Working intensely and continuously without breaks may contribute to discomfort and pain. Although we know that frequent breaks provide a respite, we are generally unreliable in reminding ourselves to take a break because we get captured by our tasks and only stop working after we experience discomfort. To reduce discomfort and increase social support, learn to be oh so British.

How to be Oh So British:

Twice a day (morning and afternoon) stop work and take an actual ten to fifteen-minute break. (Remember, the law mandating breaks was written to help you maintain your health.) Place a sign on the office door letting people know the office is closed for a specific time period. During this break, leave your work area and, if appropriate, take this break with your co-workers while drinking tea (it appears to have anticancer properties) and sharing positive experiences.

To increase social support, bring snacks to be shared with co-workers.

Although taking breaks seems unproductive, research studies have demonstrated that people who take breaks are generally equally (sometimes more) productive than those who work without breaks.


The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips. Copyright 2009 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney. Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.
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