Recovery during lunch breaks: Testing long-term relations with energy levels at work
Number of pages
SourceScandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 1, (2016), article 7
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
Scandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
This study had two aims. First, we examined whether lunch break settings, activities, and recovery experiences were associated with lunchtime recovery cross-sectionally. Second, we investigated whether lunchtime recovery was related to energy levels (i.e., exhaustion and vigor) across a 12-month period. We collected longitudinal questionnaire data among 841 Finnish workers (59% female, mean age 47 years) from 11 different organizations in various fields at two time points (spring 2013 and 2014). We used hierarchical regression analysis to test our hypotheses. We found that recovery experiences, that is, psychological detachment from work and control during the lunch break, were related to successful lunchtime recovery. After controlling for background factors, main job characteristics (workload and autonomy), and the outcomes at baseline, successful lunchtime recovery was related to a decrease in exhaustion and to an increase in vigor one year later. To conclude, lunch breaks offer an important setting for internal recovery during working days and seem to relate to energy levels at work over time.
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