Mid-morning may be best break time: study

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The best time of day to take a break is mid-morning, according to a new study from Baylor University.

Researchers analyzed break surveys from 95 employees, ranging in age from 22 to 67, in their quest to find a “better break.” 

The ideal break should be taken mid-morning in order to replenish energy that's typically lost before a midday lunch break. Taking more frequent short breaks, instead of one or two longer ones, also can benefit employees, researchers found.

“Unlike your cell phone ... people instead need to charge more frequently,” said lead researcher Emily Hunter, Ph.D.

Taking breaks not only increased employees' energy and concentration, but also helped reduce somatic symptoms such as headaches and back pain. Employees also reported increased job satisfaction and a decrease in burnout.

While more research is needed into how shift workers can take better breaks, results suggest that an earlier break may be helpful regardless of when the workday begins, Hunter told McKnight's

Results of the study appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology.