As college students, we spend hours in the library without receiving a break and we force ourselves to keep going, we drink coffee to keep ourselves awake and up. These are bad habits that I am guilty of, I have spent hours in the library attempting to finish my homework that is due the following week. According to James A Levine, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic has done studies that show that when you are sitting for long hours in a day (work or school) we are impairing our health. Once we start sitting for an extended period of time our receptors in our leg muscles start to change over time and our blood sugar system is slowing down. The human body was never made to be sitting for hours and that is what we have grown to make normal and now we spend on average 13 hours a day sitting. According to Dr. Levine he recommends to have an intense 15-minute work bursts then take a break for a bit then return for another 15 minutes.
When taking a break it depends on what you do on your break that can affect your work, you need to take an effective break! According to the Huffington post survey done they have found that social media can increase your stress. “Of those who are active social networkers, 83% stated their lives were either ‘somewhat stressful’ or ‘very stressful.’ 72% of those who did not participate in social media gave the same reply.”(onlineschools.org) While we use social media we receive dopamine when we receive likes, comments, and followers. This increase in dopamine can distract use from our tasks.
How should we spend our breaks? There has been a study at Princeton University that has said working out has had a positive correlation to improving brain activity. We all know that exercising is a good way to release our stress and as college students, some of us don’t prioritize this. Mediation is another way we can improve our health and lower our anxiety, there are a lot of studies that show that meditation has several benefits for our health. If working out and mediation isn’t your fit then you can take a quick power nap (10-20 minutes). I have taken power naps a lot and I have seen improvement in my body and my ability to concentrate. If none of these are helpful for you, just do you! Everyone has different ways to cope with stress and take a break from studying. Fit your needs and you know yourself. Just remember to take breaks from studying because we all know that cramming for an exam isn’t going to help you retain the information you really need.