Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Business Studies

Program or Major


Second Department


Faculty Advisor

Catherine Pastille


Industrial-organizational psychology, Mental efficiency, Burn out, Performance, Organizational behavior


The question as to whether or not taking breaks from work is beneficial for improving employee productivity has not been thoroughly examined, as it is still a fairly new topic of discussion. This thesis project sought to compile evidence to support the claim that breaks are indeed useful for this purpose. A review of the literature found not only information that directly supports this assertion, but also information that shows the numerous negative side-effects of not taking breaks from work. Certain workplace factors that influence break-taking behaviors were also discussed. For the purpose of providing modern-day companies several means by which they can provide their office workers with support for effective break-taking behaviors, this review also researched activities that have proven to be effective in positively affecting productivity and physical and mental health. The implementation of progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and the active use of sit-to-stand work stations were shown to be the most effective. To conclude the project, further research was proposed to examine gender, individual, and cultural differences. This thesis has improved understanding of the effects of breaks in employee health and productivity and has opened doors for researchers to further increase knowledge in this field of study.