Office workers often feel sluggish at some point in the day and need to get up, step away from the computer and just stretch for a moment.

Studies show that office personnel who take breaks from the daily grind have increased productivity, creativity and problem-solving abilities. Add to that break some exercise, fresh air and the proven stress relief of interacting with a friendly dog and you’ve got a winning formula for success.

Shelter dogs also benefit from getting out of the mundane and enjoying an afternoon walk. Shelter dogs that are walked regularly have fewer social and behavioral problems, making them more likely to be adopted.

Office workers in the CBD will experience what a nice break can do for them, and enjoy the companionship of a great dog at the same time, as the Jefferson SPCA launches the first Buddy Break at Lafayette Square this week.

The Buddy Break, presented by Camp Bow Wow, will take place Friday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is a Jefferson SPCA program pairing 9-to-5ers with shelter dogs for lunchtime strolls. Everyone gets the fresh air, camaraderie, exercise and tail-wagging they need.

No commitment. No strings. No pressure. All you need is a willingness to hang out with a dog that needs the walk as much as you do.

This week’s Buddy Break in Lafayette Square will feature:

Dozens of adoptable shelter dogs

Puppy Party, offering both kids and adults unlimited play with adorable shelter pups

Photo booth

Kissing booth

Lint Roll After Your Stroll (volunteers will help tidy you up).

The Jefferson SPCA supports the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter. For information, call (504) 931-4777, send email to info@jeffersonspca.org or visit www.jeffersonspca.org.

Events

PET ADOPTION EVENT: Animal Rescue New Orleans will have adoptable dogs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Palmer Park Arts Market, at the corner of South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues in New Orleans. For information, send email to adoptfromarno@yahoo.com.

PET ADOPTION EVENT: LA/SPCA counselors and volunteers will have adoptable pets on hand from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13 and 14, during the Winter Wonderfest at Christmas in the District at the Morial Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans. For information, call (504) 368-5191 or visit la-spca.org. For information on Christmas in the District, visit christmasinthedistrict.com.

CRITTER CINEMA: Animal-loving, pizza-eating, movie-watching kids ages 5-10 will gather for Critter Cinema from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans. Participants are welcome to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and PJs. Preregistration is required, and the cost is $30 per child. To reserve a spot, call (504) 368-5191, ext. 207, or send email to erica@la-spca.org. For information, visit la-spca.org/crittercinema.

SANTA PAWS NOLA: A holiday-themed pet costume contest and second-line parade will take place as part of Christmas in the District, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Heritage Park, 1100 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans. To register, visit santapawsnola2014.eventbrite.com.

For information, send email to info@SantaPawsNOLA.com or call (504) 524-1227.

PET FIRST AID AND CPR: A course in pet first aid and CPR will be from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans. The course fee is $65. To register, visit la-spca.org.

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to lost andfound@la-spca.org. In Jefferson Parish, email molsen@jeffparish.net and bbourgeois @jeffparish.net, and in St. Bernard Parish, email cluna@sbpg.net.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animal rescuecolumn@gmail.com, www.animalrescuenew orleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.