According to the website BrainFacts.org, “When we focus on a task, our brains devote more processing resources to areas that will boost our performance”, says study author Julian Lim. “Mental fatigue might be a signal that we’re expending too much energy relative to the benefit we’ll get from staying on task, so the brain withdraws these resources”, he says.

Brain imaging studies back this up. In a 2010 study, researchers tracked cerebral blood flow as participants performed a test assessing their vigilance and reaction time. They found blood flow to regions of the brain involved in vigilance decreased over the 20-minute testing period, which correlated with worsening reaction times. Breaks can mitigate this.

Research suggests that brain games can make for a more productive break as these activities keep the mind active, while offering a comforting way to de-stress. A University of Toronto study suggests that for many brain games can be a worthy means both to de-stress and to challenge oneself.

SumQuest, an addition-based game designed with the aim of boosting mental maths ability, is the perfect brain game for a brain break. Coming soon to the iStore, Play Store and Facebook.