Give Me a Break!

Why make room for a break?

Research tells us that taking regular breaks at work helps to improve productivity and creativity. Not fitting in a break can lead to stress and exhaustion. If you’re on a roll, keeping rolling!  But if you’re starting to drift, daydream and drain, don’t wait until you hit rock bottom – take a break and recharge your inner resources. And don’t forget to take a lunch break, away from your desk or work area!

Get Physical

Physical activity releases endorphins that improve our mood and increase our tolerance to pain. It’s also a great way to decrease anxiety, increase positive self-esteem and improve sleeping patterns. Did you know that just 30 minutes of walking for 10 days may be enough to reduce symptoms of depression? Make sure you’re including active breaks that involve movement and standing if you find yourself sitting for long stretches.

A Moment to Stretch Video

A Moment to Stretch Standing Video

Walking for Fitness Tip Sheet

NEW 23 and 1/2 hours: The Half Hour Challenge

“I have no time for a break today.”

SERIOUSLY? Okay, that happens. How about making one or more of your meetings today a walking meeting, which does give your body a break if you’ve been sitting a lot. An added bonus…the movement and change of scenery just might inspire some fresh thinking!



Let this short (3 minutes) TED talk  inspire you today.

Nilofer Merchant: Got a Meeting? Take a Walk.




Lighten Up!

Laughing makes you feel good and it reduces stress. A little humour in the workplace can also help build camaraderie and enhance teamwork. We spend a lot of time at work –up to 60 percent of our waking hours! What happens here can have a big impact on our health and sense of well being. Life is short….get laughing!

Inspiring Workplaces Resources

To access follow-up resources from Michael Kerr from our Healthy Workplace Summit 2015, visit Healthy Workplace on the Saskatoon Health Region Infonet, under Departments. Some of the tips include: How to Jumpstart More Fun at Work, and Meetings that Rock – Awesome Ideas, Fun Icebreakers.

Videos to get you thinking and smiling

How to start a movement – With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)

The shared experience of absurdity – Charlie Todd causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes: Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, “ghostbusters” running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. His group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together.

How healthy living nearly killed me – For a full year, AJ Jacobs followed every piece of health advice he could — from applying sunscreen by the shot glass to wearing a bicycle helmet while shopping. Onstage at TEDMED, he shares the surprising things he learned.

Humor at work -After being complimented by co-workers on how humor helped them enjoy their work, Andrew Tarvin decided to start becoming a humor engineer–using humor to help people become more efficient and effective in the workplace.


Lighten up: using humour to your advantage in the workplace, Shepell

stones-937659_1920Free Your Mind

Do nothing – Can you spare 2 minutes once or twice a day to sit back and breathe?  Sometimes taking that mental break can help re-energize you, relieve stress and clear your mind. So, sit back relax and do nothing for two minutes!

What is mindfulness and what does it mean to you? – This 5-minute video offers a basic understanding of mindfulness and suggests that most of us have already experienced being mindful before.

Free Guided Meditations – There is an abundance of new research that points to many benefits associated with practicing mindfulness at work. Try this free introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own, offered by UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

Revive Yourself: Energizing Breath (3:30) MIT Medical

Positive Pause: Short slideshow with music and pictures and positive messages to improve your day and outlook.

Need more incentive?

Check out these 5 Very Good Reasons To Take A Break At Work Today.

Subscribe to weekly TakeYourBreak emails for practical and engaging break time activities that focus on improving mental health at work. Offered by Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.