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Make it your Break! Benefits of Person-Break Fit for Post-Break Affect


In this study, we examined lunch breaks from a person-environment fit perspective and hypothesized that employees who perceive high general person-break fit report lower negative and higher positive post-break affect than employees with low person-break fit. Further, we hypothesized that lunch break autonomy positively predicts perceived person-break fit and that chronic exhaustion moderates the relationship between person-break fit and post-break affect, such that the relationship is stronger when chronic exhaustion is high. Data from 227 participants surveyed at two measurement points showed that person-break fit was negatively related to post-break negative affect, with this relationship being stronger for participants experiencing high chronic exhaustion. Person-break fit was only positively associated with post-break positive affect for employees low on exhaustion. Break autonomy positively predicted employees’ perception of person-break fit. This study contributes to literature on well-being at work by highlighting the importance of fit between an employee’s general break-related needs and his or her actual breaks.

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We would like to thank Wilken Wehrt for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper and Yvonne Dörn, Jula Grünewald, Christina Hahn, Saskia Klein, and Belinda Merkle for their support during data collection.

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Correspondence to Laura Venz.

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Laura Venz and Christine Bosch shared first authorship

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Venz, L., Bosch, C., Pinck, A.S. et al. Make it your Break! Benefits of Person-Break Fit for Post-Break Affect. Occup Health Sci 3, 167–186 (2019).

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  • Lunch break
  • Fit
  • Affect
  • Autonomy
  • Exhaustion