Working in comfort – Taking breaks and varying your tasks

HP cares about your comfort, productivity and well-being

Taking breaks and varying your tasks

As noted earlier in this Guide, your furniture placement, office equipment, and lighting are only a few of the factors that determine comfort. Your work habits are also very important. Remember the following advice:

Take breaks
When you work at your computer for long periods, take short breaks at least once per hour and preferably more often. You may find that frequent, short breaks will benefit you more than fewer, longer breaks.

If you find that you forget to take breaks, use a timer or specialized software. Several software tools are available that remind you to take breaks at intervals you specify.

During your breaks, stand up and stretch, especially any muscles and joints you may have held in an extended static posture while using the computer.

Vary your tasks
Examine your work habits and the types of tasks you perform. Break up the routine and try to vary your tasks during the day. By doing so, you may avoid sitting in one position or performing the same activities continuously for several hours using your hands, arms, shoulders, neck, or back. For example, for variety, print out your work to proofread rather than proofing from your monitor.

Reduce sources of stress
Take an inventory of things at work that are stressful to you. If you perceive that your physical or psychological health is being affected, take time to evaluate what changes you can make to reduce or eliminate the sources of stress.

Breathe deeply
Breathe fresh air deeply and regularly. The intense mental concentration that may accompany computer use may tend to cause breath-holding or shallow breathing.


Try it and see
Contrary to what some may believe, several studies have found that productivity does NOT decline when frequent, short breaks are added to the day.


"Binge computing"
When working on a deadline that is near at hand-for example, when cranking out a report for work or for a class assignment - avoid "binge computing," working intensely for long periods of time without a break. It's during these times you should be especially mindful of tension in your body and taking frequent breaks. Switching from your work task to playing computer games is not a break for your body!