Why You Should Be Taking Meal and Rest Breaks

mandatory breaks, hour violationsIt’s happened to all of us – too much work on our plate and no time to put any food on it instead. Meal breaks are crucial for your physical and mental health, and should be considered just as important as your workload. Here are just some of the many reasons you should put your work on pause and rest.


Physical Health

Only a third of American workers say they take a lunch break, according to a web survey by Right Management. The thousands of employees who miss their meal breaks may think they’re maximizing their time, but they’re really missing out on much needed nutrition and energy boosts. Even if you’re swamped at work, make time for a healthy lunch that will keep you feeling focused. Health experts recommend you eat your lunch away from your desk as much as possible, and stress that going without food is not an option.


Mental Health

Investing ten minutes into a rest break can recharge your mind and reinvigorate your interest in a project. Experts say quiet time isn’t just for children; it can be beneficial for adults, too. A group of call-center workers were able to better relax and reduce stress after meditating for 20 minutes compared to a group who engaged in small talk, according to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. Company leaders should encourage workers to take mental-health breaks for personal and group morale. Just a few minutes away from work can be momentous for mental health.


It’s the Law

State and federal laws in most instances require employers to provide workers with rest and meal breaks. If you find yourself having to forego either one, you should tactfully address this issue with your boss and work together on a resolution. If the problem persists, it might be time to call an employment lawyer and learn your rights. You should never be pressured into systematically ignoring these mandatory breaks.


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