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If your company or community priorities include a focus on wellness for employees, results of a new survey could inspire you to examine your policies, practices and employee education related to work breaks and health habits. It’s good information to have to compete for workers in the job market.

According to a survey of 2,000 US adults conducted in January by OnePoll on behalf of Pacific Foods, people take an average of four breaks a day, believe five breaks is the daily amount they really need, and think the ideal break lasts 17 minutes.

The survey also revealed how participants like to spend their breaks: listening to music (41%) enjoying a snack or meal without distractions (36%), getting some fresh air while going for a walk (35%), sitting outside (34%), hanging out in the kitchen to get hydrated (33%) or enjoying a warm beverage (22%).

But although 87% of respondents said they believe that breaks are important to help practice wellness, one in eight adults surveyed said they don’t take any breaks during the day because they are busy, and more than half of those who wish they could take more breaks said they don’t get around to it because they feel overwhelmed (55%).

“While taking breaks may seem counterintuitive in today’s busy world, studies show they can be of great benefit to overall well-being, including helping to reduce stress levels, increase productivity, enhance mood and improve concentration and focus,” nutrition expert Mia Syn, MS, RDN, said in a statement.

A majority of the respondents (91%) said that practicing healthy habits is a part of self-care, but 34% said they “always” or “often” forget to practice self-care.

Half (51%) of the poll participants rated their wellness habits as above average, and 62% of those who said they have healthy habits practice them every day. But a third of those who said they have healthy habits said that those habits are not always a priority for them. One in six said that mindfulness has a low or no priority in their daily lives, and 23% said that on busy days, healthy eating falls into the “low” or “no” priority category.

You can read more about the survey results here for inspiration on how your workplace policies, practices, education efforts and even community amenities could contribute to employee physical and mental wellness as well as contribute to employee recruitment and retention.

Lois A. Bowers is the editor of McKnight’s Senior Living. Read her other columns here. Follow her on X (formerly Twitter) at Lois_Bowers.