What’s better for a break than a “snack”? Chatting? Research reveals the best way to take a break.

【Which works better for work breaks: “snacks” or “chit-chat”?


・When humans perform complex, concentration-intensive tasks without giving their brains time to rest, they develop cognitive fatigue. The brain’s limited resources are used up and performance suffers.

・Research has shown that the frontal lobe (the area responsible for the highest levels of cognitive and executive function in humans) is particularly vulnerable to cognitive fatigue

・In an experiment in which the participants were asked to work for 50 minutes, only one group was instructed to stop in the middle of the task, divert their attention twice to other things, and then return to the task. Three of the four groups clearly lost concentration. However, the other group, the one that had their attention diverted twice, did not lose concentration after a period of time.

・A Cornell University study found that computer users at a Wall Street firm increased their work accuracy by 13% when they took a rest or short break during the workday. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that interrupting work for as little as 3 to 30 seconds helped workers stay focused and motivated

・Researchers recorded each person’s break activities, dividing them into “relaxing” (taking a break to daze or stretch), “nutritional intake” (snacking), “socializing” (chatting with coworkers), and “cognitive activities” (reading, checking e-mail, social networking). It turns out that only “relaxing” and “socializing” were actually effective!

・Cognitive activities during work breaks can actually increase fatigue because they strain much of the brain’s processing power that it is trying to regain during the break



These are the quotes from the article




Importance of breaks and the content of breaks


In my last blog, I wrote about how time should be used effectively. That was about activity time, but this time I am talking about break time.


The title of the above article is interesting. Which is better for a break, a snack or a chat?


So the answer is a chat, but to be honest, I am not convinced!


I think the idea is that working hard for a long time causes cognitive fatigue, so we should avoid cognitive activities during breaks,


If it were a snack and a chat, I would think that the snack would be less cognitively demanding, but what do you think?


By the way, I understand that cognition refers to intellectual functions such as understanding, judgment, logic, and, um, simply put, using one’s head.^^


Above article,

Among “relaxing” (dawdling, stretching), “nutrition” (snacking), “socializing” (chatting with colleagues), and “cognitive activities” (reading, checking e-mail, social networking),

Only “relaxing” and “socializing” were more effective for taking a break.


Relaxation doesn’t seem to use your head, but I think chatting uses your head, depending on the content.

I think it’s better to eat a snack in a daze and not use your head.


That is why I am not convinced, to be honest.^^;


However, I agree with the part about taking breaks without cognitive load (not using your head) during breaks.


In my case, I used to read or touch my phone during breaks, but from now on anyway,

I would like to actively incorporate “relaxing” (doing hondayori, stretching) during breaks.


What is my logic so far, and how do you feel about it?(Finish with a little cognitive load.haha)


See you then.



If snack breaks are not allowed, then coffee breaks, cigarette breaks, etc. seem to be no good. Hmmm, I don’t know, it’s difficult to say.




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