How many days a week do you spend your lunch eating at your desk? You’re not alone, it’s estimated that up to 40% of office workers typically do the same. We feel like multitasking through our lunch “break” helps us power through our workload, but it can actually be bad for productivity. Food psychologist Dr. Christy Fergusson explains why we should stop eating lunch at our desks and how to reboot our routine to get the most out of our lunch hour.
We’re more likely to overeat at our desks – Research has shown that eating while distracted can lead us to eat more than we realize, which you may have noticed while mindlessly munching on lunch at your desk. So instead of overeating while staring at a spreadsheet on your computer, try stepping away to enjoy your meal, even if it’s just for a few minutes. It’ll allow you to focus on your food and pay attention to what and how much you’re eating, which will leave you more satisfied and not as stuffed when you’re finished.
We need a brain break – You’ll be more productive if you step away from your work for few minutes to refresh your mind. Actually taking a lunch break can break up your day and relieve stress, which helps you work better for the rest of the day.
We can get stuck in a rut – If you always run to the same cafe for the same quick salad or sandwich to eat at your desk, that routine will get old quick. But if you can find some time to prep your lunch at home, you can keep your midday meal fresh and healthy, and probably save some money, too.
All that sitting isn’t good for us – Office workers spend way too much time sitting every day, which has been shown to be harmful to our long term health and wellbeing. So take the chance to get up and get your blood flowing with a walk any time you can squeeze one in, like during your lunch break. If you can actually get outside for some fresh air and vitamin D while you walk, do it – sunshine is a great mood-booster