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Am J Prev Med. 2005 Dec;29(5):461-5.

Transforming work breaks to promote health.

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Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Public health, medicine, and nursing are disciplines charged with promoting health, preventing and treating disease, and improving quality of life. One of the most effective ways to achieve these objectives is to make health-promoting behaviors a part of people's everyday routines. Because many adults spend a substantial portion of the day in the workplace, and because it is common for workers to have two 10- to 15-minute work breaks each day, work breaks are a potentially important--but currently underutilized--venue in which to promote healthy behaviors. Unfortunately, work breaks frequently involve health-compromising behaviors. This paper presents an argument to restructure work breaks into "booster breaks" that improve public health by encouraging health-promoting practices. This new way of thinking about work breaks is described. The implications and challenges of this paradigm shift for workplace culture and public health are addressed.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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