Brain Breaks Help Boost Performance
Your brain needs at least a 10-minute break — and the research is now CRYSTAL CLEAR on this.
The case for breaks: what the research says
A study from Microsoft is making its way in the headlines again — and it’s reminding us that the brain NEEDS to reset between meetings – and games. As the pandemic upended routines and heightened the digital intensity of workdays, hundreds of researchers across Microsoft came together to study how work is changing, amassing one of the world’s largest bodies of research on the subject.
Using EEG caps to detect brain wave activity and stress detection — the experiment had 2 groups of participants sit through 4 meetings back to back, with one group allowing 10-minute breaks in between each meeting. The data showed that the group who took breaks experienced a RESET in brain stress activity.
Scientists concluded that the transition from one meeting’s agenda to the next COMPOUNDED the stress of the Microsoft employees — as they were forced to switch and think about the new challenge immediately awaiting them BEFORE they had closure on the challenges they were currently facing.
This confirms numerous studies that show how much stress is involved in “switch-tasking.” In other words, the brain needs CLOSURE on one topic, before advancing to another — and since people will often begin thinking about a future event minutes before it happens, employees with back-to-back meetings are feeling both stressed from the lack of closure from one meeting, while ANTICIPATING the uncertainties and potential issues with a new agenda in an upcoming meeting.
And we wonder why burnout is at an all-time high?
But this is also interesting research for gamers to understand, because ‘resetting’ the brain between training, matches or tournament play can also yield similar benefits.