Taking micro-breaks at work can help you survive burnout

Adhya Moona
Adhya MoonaApr 22, 2023 | 15:00

Taking micro-breaks at work can help you survive burnout

Micro-breaks during work are important for both our physical and mental health. Photo: DailyO

Ever felt burnt out or fatigued at work, and it affected your overall well-being and happiness? Take a few 'micro-breaks' (which could be up to 10 minutes or between 5 and 20 minutes) to keep all of that at bay.

In order to achieve a good work-life balance, you should take mirco-breaks at work, and especially if you have a sedentary job. 

Benefits of micro-breaks

Mental Health 

  • In a research published on August 31, 2022 in the journal PLOS ONE, authors of the study concluded that "micro-breaks" (which they defined as a break of 10 minutes or less) significantly increased the well-being and vigour of people, making them less fatigued. 
  • Micro-breaks boost overall energy levels, helping you work smartly and efficiently (do you feel so too?)

  • You probably would have experienced this: if you take short breaks at work, you feel more refreshed and all set to tackle the next task.
  • Micro-breaks help alleviate stress and encourage you to feel more engaged in your work (more enjoyable, I suppose!)
  • Tip: If you're about to start a difficult task or something you don't quite like, take a short break in between so that it can help distribute the stress levels and you don't feel too intimidated. 

Ms Shreya Kaul, a counselling psychologist based in Delhi-NCR, told DailyO:

  • "Psychologically speaking, after a certain point, there is only so much attention we can give. 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 1 hour later; it is not possible for us cognitively to be giving all our attention to something; which is why it is very fundamental to constantly take breaks to reboot or reset ourselves."
  • "Micro-breaks is a purposeful step that I take to ensure that I feel energised. It could be a brief walk, stretches, or going down to take a couple of deep breaths."

Physical Health 



  • Get up, walk around and stretch to get the blood flowing. 
  • Walking and stretching help reduce the chances of developing a musculoskeletal disorder. 
  • Musculoskeletal disorder includes injuries to the muscles, joints of your body or nerves; all of which mostly happen because of poor body posture at work. It can happen because of lack of movement, prolonged standing or sitting, assuming and working long hours in an awkward position continuously, without a break.
  • Taking short breaks reduces the strain on your eyes too. 

Dr Sundeep Khandelwal, a physician based in Delhi-NCR, told DailyO, "Taking breaks improves cardiometabolic markers; and may also reduce fatigue. Micro-breaks reduce stress and strain off certain parts of the body; mostly musculoskeletal."

What to do during a micro-break in office?

The point of taking a micro-break is to do what you enjoy doing or you would like to do in those limited minutes?

  • Take a walk for 10-15 minutes
  • Chat with a friend or a colleague

  • listen to music
  • read a book
  • take a coffee/tea break
  • stretch and relax for a few minutes 



Are you someone who takes micro-breaks at work?

Last updated: April 22, 2023 | 15:00
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