The researcher and author of a 2021 study shared, “Breaks are often misconstrued as a pause in the active learning process, instead of the period when our brains compress and consolidate memories of what we just practiced.” In other words, our brains need brief breaks in between practicing the use of new information in order to imprint that information as knowledge. The research shows we need a 3-5 minute break for every 20-30 minutes of work to maximize the benefits.
→ At home: When studying or working on a laptop, tablet, book, or notebook, take breaks to draw, step outside with a pet or to shoot hoops, talk to a friend or family member, or make a snack. What’s important is that the break is brief – no more than about 5 minutes – is away from the studying space, and is not on a screen.
→ At school: Brain breaks have been a staple in elementary classrooms for years, but secondary educators have thought of them as too immature for adolescents and teens. Brain research says we ALL need brain breaks. Click here to see a list of 17 brain breaks designed specifically for high schoolers.