Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva

Coffee break benefits . . . and other stories

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3185 (Published 03 August 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3185

Re: Coffee break benefits . . . and other stories

I am not surprised that drinking coffee is associated with lower mortality.[1]

However, the cause may not just be the pharmacology of coffee. The Danish word for a spontaneous coffee break, typically taken with others, is 'kaffepause'. Where possible, little snacks or sweet treats accompany a kaffepause, and with work colleagues this is a feature of building trust and understanding in the workplace. Typically, home is close to work and flexible working traditions mean Danes may pop out during the day for a kaffepause with family members. The benefits of frequent breaks, for Danes' social capital and mental wellbeing,[2] may hold lessons for all BMJ readers.

[1] Minerva. Coffee drinking and mortality. BMJ 2018;362:k3185

[2] Wiking M. The Happy Danes. Exploring the reasons behind the high levels of happiness in Denmark (English translation). Frederiksberg: The Happiness Research Institute, 2014.

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 August 2018
Woody Caan
Editor, Journal of Public Mental Health
Duxford, Cambridge