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Assumptions. Got to love them right? Especially when you get them wrong!
When I read the headline of the research paper on taking a smartphone break, I was expecting to read that taking a break from your smartphone, along with your computer, laptop, iPad was a good idea as a means to manage our distractions better.

Far from it. What was being suggested here was to use you smartphone as a form of break from all the busyness, other distractions(!) and franticness of our day.

Intrigued I read on.

It turns out that using your smartphone for entertainment value by playing Angry Birds or as a means to connect with family or friends can be a real boost to

•    Improve workplace productivity
•    Increase employee happiness

Researchers from Kansas University found that in a group of 72 full time employees, those who used their smartphone as a short break from work for just a couple of minutes as a “microbreak” felt refreshed and better in themselves to deal with the rest of the day’s pressures.

So whilst our technology and social media can be cause of major disruption to attention and focus, used differently they can provide a welcome break in just the same way as stopping for a cup of coffee, restroom break or water cooler chat. And in a world where there is such a high level of demand and stress being experienced in the workplace, these “microbreaks” would appear to be very useful.

Kansas State University. “Taking a short smartphone break improves employee well-being, research finds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140707121343.htm>.

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/20947131@N05/13494799053/”>Olivier Jenvrin Photographies</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a> <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a>

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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