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In Defense of a Real Coffee Break

We all have days when the closest we come to a legit coffee break is a frazzled trip to the office Keurig, where we impatiently count the seconds until our mugs fill with 8 ounces of caffeinated goodness. It's not about the flavor or the experience. It's just about the fix.
Apparently Starbucks understands those kind of days. They recently announced a plan to deliver food and beverages to customers in select markets in the second half of 2015, meaning you may never need to leave your desk for a coffee break again: "Imagine the ability to create a standing order that Starbucks delivered hot or iced to your desk daily..." Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president, and CEO said on a conference call.
While having a piping hot beverage delivered straight to our caffeine-hungry hands sounds as tempting as a venti pumpkin spiced latte come fall—not to mention delivery can come in handy from time to time (coffee and muffins for the entire office!)—isn't there something nice about your fresh-air-filled walk to Starbucks every afternoon?
David Posen, MD, author of Is Work Killing You? certainly thinks so. "Your brain gets tired; the maximum amount of time you can concentrate is about 90 minutes," he explains. "After that, your productivity suffers, and you need to step away from your computer to recharge."
That's where your coffee break comes in: "Even a five minute walk can help relieve tension," says Dr. Posen. "Walking reduces anxiety and elevates mood, making you more productive when you return to the office." (Dr. Posen suggests ordering decaf for the best stress-relieving results.)
Consider this: People who exercised at a low-intensity (comparable to a leisurely walk to Starbucks) for just 20 minutes a day three times a week were 20 percent more energetic than those who remained stationary, according to a University of Georgia study. Even better if that exercise is outside. A University of Michigan study found that being in nature, even briefly, can boost your memory and attention span. A delicious beverage, plus more focus and energy at the office? Now, that's an afternoon pick-me-up worth walking for.
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