Over 65 per cent of office workers eat lunch at their desks each day.
Not all of them are necessarily working, by the way. It’s just the desk is the most convenient spot to down tools, vegetate for half an hour or so, check social media and surf online. If you keep your head down, nobody should disturb you and you might even look quite committed for those who don’t spot what’s in your browsing history.
It might seem the most obvious choice but it’s far from being the healthiest… You may be eating the right things but you’re missing out on an opportunity to stretch your legs, use more of your muscles and get some fresh air and exercise – all of which are as crucial, if not more so, to your health as the food that you choose to eat.
More importantly, going back to the exercise issue, eating at your desk means that you are sitting for longer and not taking the opportunity to fully break up your sitting time.
Sitting down in the office has long been an issue, with middle-aged office workers reported to be less active now than pensioners overall, according to a report from the University of Edinburgh.
It’s also mentally stimulating to break up the day and get out of the office, even if only for twenty minutes, if you get the opportunity. Changing your surroundings allows you to clear your mind and gives you a better chance of facing the afternoon refreshed. You’re more likely to feel alert and ready to go.
Also, the very act of leaving your desk and moving about provides you with the chance to socialize and exchange a few words with colleagues on your way in and out of the building. Like exercise, socializing allows you to lower your stress levels and has a positive impact on your overall wellbeing.
So, next time you’re tempted to slump at your desk over lunch, think again. Aim to get out at least twice a week and take a walk. Enjoy a change of scenery and, if possible, eat somewhere else. You may find you feel fitter, happier and better overall once you embrace a proper lunch break.