I want to know the details regarding taking (short) breaks in the context of studying or research. So, I read an article titled The Science of Taking a Break. This question is focused on the aspect of what to do while break time.

The article divides breaks into two classes: effective breaks and ineffective breaks.

Routines for ineffective breaks:

  1. Engagement in social media platforms;
  2. Calling or texting friends;
  3. Watching television.

Routines for effective breaks:

  1. Taking naps;
  2. Meditation;
  3. Old fashioned exercise.

I am interested in knowing more routines for taking effective breaks in academic study or research.

What are the other recommended routines for taking an effective break?

  • It is a research article I am mentioning and please comment, if possible, the reason for down-vote.
    – hanugm
    Aug 28, 2021 at 12:32
  • 2
    Maybe some people find this off topic since it's not directly about doing research? I upvoted, I think this is an important topic for mental and physical health that isn't discussed enough.
    – Andrew
    Aug 28, 2021 at 12:54
  • Take a half-day regularly to volunteer working with the elderly, the local library, a homeless shelter, etc. The change of scenery and perspective is healthy and will help you appreciate the blessing you have of being able to spend time in your research. Sep 1, 2021 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


My technique was exercise - mostly on a bicycle, but I was in an especially good place for long rides. Something like 50 miles (80km) or more. And they were (small) group rides so we went pretty fast, but could also chat a bit too.

Better than social media, if you are in a face to face situation is a brief "coffee break" where you sit down with others in your field and just chat about whatever seems interesting. Sometimes another person in the sit-down will propose a problem, which can get your mind going in a different direction for a bit. And, interacting with physical human beings is a lot different mentally than interacting through a screen.

But, exercise does two things. First it gets your blood moving, which is good for the brain. Second it keeps your body healthy which other things may not.

Currently I do Tai Chi for about an hour or so. It has the advantage of forcing your mind into a different space, once you understand its fundamentals, and is good, generally, for body flexibility. Its one disadvantage is that it isn't normally very aerobic.

  • Yeah, the article mentioned that physical meeting is okay.
    – hanugm
    Aug 28, 2021 at 11:31

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