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How you recover after work affects your next-day mood: study

Photo: Milko/iStockphoto

Mannheim, Germany — Busy day at work? Choosing a positive way to recharge in the evening may boost your mood for the next day.

Researchers from the University of Mannheim studied the evening recovery routines for 124 workers ages 21 to 65.

The workers who had higher quality recovery in the evening – including relaxing, detaching from work and being social – reported higher levels of wakefulness, calmness and pleasantness when they started work the next morning.

Even so, those workers’ wakefulness and calmness tended to dip sharply during the workday. The takeaway, the researchers say, is that daily recovery from work is important.

They also recommend that employers “provide employees with sufficient autonomy to schedule their tasks on a daily basis in accordance with their mood trajectories.” For example, allow workers to schedule tasks that require greater concentration and energy for the beginning of the day. At-work recovery efforts, such as breaks, could be beneficial as well.

The study was published online in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

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