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Take a Breather – Literally: The Importance of Getting Fresh Air During Breaks

By hire-up-staffing in News and Updates


One of the best ways to de-stress and unwind during the work day is to take a short break or have lunch outside the office. Workplaces are notorious for allowing smokers to have a cigarette break, so why not take a “fresh air break” instead? Humor us for a second here – remember that the idea behind cigarette breaks is so workers can move away from the source of stress, and probably have a quick chat with a co-worker or two.

Now, nobody would recommend anybody to smoke as it’s very dangerous to the health. Rather than inhaling nicotine and other unnecessary substances (you still inhale them whether you’re a smoker or not), go out of the office for a few minutes. Or, if you’re having lunch at a restaurant, dine al fresco but in a non-smoking area. This is a good change in environment, as opposed to eating at your work desk or in a dull pantry.

Why is it so important to breathe fresh air during breaks? Because it helps your body and brain a lot of good! Fresh air is almost always underrated, but going outside on a regular basis can improve health, well being, and even brain functions.

On average, adults spend at least 8 or 9 hours of the day inside buildings, and then spend all night inside our homes. However, the air we breathe indoors isn’t as fresh as the body needs it to be. There’s dust, fumes from the kitchen (especially if you burn a meal or two), and other sources of indoor air pollution. This is the reason a lot of companies sell air purifiers and ionizers to clean indoor air. However, there’s simply no substitute for fresh, outdoor air.

Fresh air cleans the lungs. When we have this regularly, the body detoxifies and we begin to breathe deeper. As a result, cells get more oxygen which boosts brain function (the brain needs about 20% of our overall oxygen to function well) and it increases energy so the body can do more.

Dirty, dusty, polluted environments pressure the body to work harder just to get the right amount of oxygen it needs. Fresh air improves blood pressure and heart rate, and this greatly benefits everyone – not just people with congenital problems or high amounts of stress. The amount of serotonin, the happy hormone, is also affected by the amount of oxygen a person gets. Enough serotonin would significantly promote a sense of happiness, relaxation, and overall well being.

Lastly, fresh air also induces sound sleep. Yes, we’re talking about work, but in order for a person to fully take on their workload, we need a full night’s rest. Getting fresh air affects the day’s entire cycle. Getting a fresh air fix positively impacts the body in more ways than we realize. Take that fresh air break at least twice a day – your body and your work will thank you for it.