For one in two people, lunchtime is for crunching and cramming in more work. We shove snacks or meal-preps into our mouths while we type, plan, calculate, and schedule meetings. According to a new survey of 2,000 workers, it is unrealistic to be able to get away from your desk to eat a proper break. The research by OnePoll in partnership with Eggland’s Best, found that one in two Americans say that they cannot get in a full lunch break and that it even counts as a distraction. People seem to cling to their desk instead of going outside to eat in peace.
Lunch breaks are more vital than you think…
For the rest of us who take our lunch to enjoy some outside relaxation, a lunch breaks not just a getaway from out desk, but a moment to recharge for the last half of our workday. But this concept is generational. The group of works 45 and under claim that it was not practical to take a lunch break while the 45 plus age group gave a completely flipped response and disagreed.
“With a lot of work and little time in the day for themselves, the results indicated that eating habits are changing to suit such hectic routines, with an emphasis on snacking prioritized over lengthy meals. “ - source
When we skip our lunches we start picking at food throughout the day so we don’t get too hungry. According to swnsdigital 68% of American workers snack twice a day, and three in ten workers enjoy snacking three times a day or more while at work. All this snacking does not go without consequences. Research shows that eating frequently is actually unhealthy and detrimental to weight-loss goals. The latest endocrine science tells us that eating every three or four hours actually sets us up for not only exhaustion and premature aging but also less fat burning. A designated lunch break is not just a way of satisfying your hunger, but of also satisfying your unhealthy snacking habit.
Physical health reasons aside, a lunch break has a strong impact on the mental health benefits. In the U.S. half of the states do no mandate the employers to give their employees lunch breaks or a 10/15 min break, but research finds that breaks can replenish the psychological costs associated with working hard, improve work performance, and boost energy. Spending less than one minute looking at nature (Lee et al., 2015) improves employee performance after they return to the work task. Personally I have found that a complete lunch break gives me the metal and energy recharge for the second half of my day. It is a reminder that we are all people with lives outside of our meetings and deadlines and it gives us a fresh look on ideas and tasks when we return.
In the end if you have a lunch in your daily work schedule it is still up to you if you eat lunch at your computer non-stop working or cherish your gift of a break.
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