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7 horrible things that can happen to you when you don’t take breaks while working from home

Published on:17 November 2020, 13:31pm IST
We have been working from home for the better part of a year and it is starting to take a toll on us. A doctor reveals what happens when we don’t take breaks while working from home.
Shreya Gupta
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Work from home has made our lifestyles sedentary. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Coronavirus has changed the way we lived life and the new normal is working from home. Truth be told, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change any time soon. Now, the WFH culture has its own advantages but these advantages come at a cost. The cost is your health and bond with your loved ones. Hence, taking a break and maintaining work-life balance while working from home is really important. 

You will definitely agree that we have been glued to our screens more than ever before due to working from home. Recently, a survey conducted with 2,000 Americans who are working from home found that about 29 per cent of them don’t take any meal breaks during the workday. In fact, 6 in every 10 participants felt guilty about taking any break. 

Another study conducted by the Wildgoose found that 47 per cent of the employees felt their mental health was being affected and 36 per cent worked for excessive hours.

Dr Subhash Jangid, Director and Unit Head, Fortis Bone And Joint Institute, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram revealed 7 things that happen to you when you skip taking breaks:

1. You lose focus and concentration

You may think that taking a break will distract you from your work but turns out, that isn’t true at all. In fact, if you have been facing difficulty concentrating recently then you might not be taking proper breaks. A study conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign noted that even small breaks can improve your ability to concentrate and improve focus. A lack of proper breaks, on the other hand, can reduce productivity.

2. You might develop neck and back issues

Dr Jangid says, “Staying in one position for a prolonged period of time can result in spine issues. If you don’t take a break between work, the muscles of the back which are anti-gravity muscles will get fatigued which will lead to pain and stiffness.”

bad posture
Don’t let these work from home sessions ruin your back. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Neck pain is another issue which can arise or reoccur because of awkward working postures. To avoid these issues, you must take a few breaks to do regular stretching exercises that will keep the muscles in good shape,” added Dr Jangid.

3. You feel fatigued all the time

Have you ever felt tired all the time? It might be happening because you are not giving your body and mind the time to relax. Working for long hours without any breaks can leave you extremely fatigued with some serious physical and mental health problems.

4. You can get psychologically attached to your work

Lack of breaks can lead to you becoming psychologically attached to your work which is not healthy at all. Psychological detachment from your professional life is necessary as it allows you the time to switch off from work to let your brain and body relax.

So, taking breaks to relax and rewind is necessary.

5. You find it difficult to make decisions

When your mind and body are not rested properly, decisions-making can get really difficult. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that judges who skipped breaks during their shifts were so tired that they simply went with the easiest choices and decisions.

6. You might get isolated

Missing out on lunch breaks with your family or a weekend trip with your friends can leave feeling isolated and lonely. So, taking breaks to connect with your family, coworkers and friends is necessary to avoid isolation, especially during these difficult times.

Depression risk factor
You can very well become socially isolated! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Jangid says, “People who have been staying at home for the past few months are reporting a number of psychological issues. This is due to a lack of social contact with friends and family members. People are missing the typical office culture and environment which is leading to a deterioration in mental health.”

Also, read: Your increased screen time while working from home can give you migraines

7. Your eyes can get really affected

Being glued to the screen for long hours can strain your eyes. Dr Jangid said, “The eyes may get strained because of two reasons. Firstly, working continuously on the screen and second, because of improper lighting at home. This can lead to headaches and a change in your spectacle power.”

Clearly, not taking a break when you’re working from home can do more harm than good. So, ensure that you’re taking breaks whenever you get the chance to!

Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.