Taking Five Minute ‘Brain Breaks’ Can Increase Productivity in Tasks by More Than 50 per Cent, Study Finds

Taking a five-minute ‘brain break’ can increase performance and productivity in subsequent tasks by over 50 per cent, a study has found. In the University of Sydney experiment, 72 students undertook a self-taught lesson and two gruelling mental maths tests.

Those who were allowed a five-minute break between the tasks averaged 57 per cent higher marks – when other ability factors were taken into account – in the second test than those who powered through without stopping.

Some of the ‘rested’ students took unstructured breaks while others were asked to watch a relaxing nature video, but both groups performed better in the second challenge than their unrested peers.

Associate Professor in Educational Psychology Paul Ginns said the ‘substantial’ improvements gained by taking an attention-restoring ‘brain break’ can apply as much in the office environment as they do in the classroom.

‘While this study was conducted on university students, I’m pretty confident that these results can be applied to younger people and older people,’ he said.

‘Having a rest is not just about cognitive function, it’s also about recharging your emotional batteries. This is advice we give to children. It’s an easy productivity hack that is accessible to everyone.’

He said the study provided evidence for the effectiveness of the Pomodoro Technique, which advocates a five-minute break after every 25 minutes of concentrated work.


Daily Mail
Back to top button