Everyone in the office has their own lunchtime routine. Whether it’s running errands, catching up on tv, hitting the gym or meeting up with friends, lunchtime is a time for taking a valuable break from the streams of meetings, reports, and calls that can sometimes seem never-ending.
But it seems with the dawn of the new decade, work, office peer pressure and promotion ambitions have become ever growing threats to lunchtimes across the country. More and more people are dining ‘Al Desko’ - that is, eating their lunch at their desk and not taking their full entitled break.
As it turns out, this is definitely not the healthiest option.
Al desko in the office
In a recent study by Flexioffices involving 2,000 UK employees, it was revealed that almost a third of British workers (29%) only find the time to leave their desks for lunch for a full break two to three times a week.
The Scottish are the most likely to take a full hour’s lunch, with 30% taking time out, followed by the Northern Irish and those in the East Midlands (28%). At the other end of the scale, those living in Greater London and the North East only take a full hour’s break once a week.
By industry, those working in finance are most likely to take a full hour for lunch at 38%, while the least likely are those working in the art and culture industries, with only 21% in that field managing to take a full lunch 4-6 times a week.
There are a number of reasons why so many feel they can’t take time for lunch, and many are to do with a trifecta of work, promotion pressure and what other employees get up to on their lunch.
The benefits of the lunch hour
To make things worse, the majority of those surveyed said that they were aware that taking a full lunch break was beneficial to their health but remained unwilling or unable to take a full lunch themselves.
21% of those surveyed said that not taking their lunch away from their desk led them to feel more stressed, 22% felt like they had no time for themselves, and 22% said they became mentally drained. 16% went a step further to say that it made them feel unhappy.
When it comes to geography, employees in the East Midlands are those most likely to feel unhappy if they don’t have a full hour’s lunchbreak (25%).
Lunchbreaks and mental well-being
With the above results, it’s a good idea to take stock and understand exactly what the humble lunchbreak can bring to your daily health regime.
Lunchbreaks give your brain the chance to recuperate and rest, thereby setting you up to improve your work productivity through the day and on into the week. By contrast, not taking an hour for lunch can result in a worse mood by the end of the day, adding stress to an already unrested and tired mind.
When it comes to those who work in offices, taking a break from the computer screen is also hugely beneficial for your eyes, while taking a walk outside the office gives you a daily dose of exercise as well as a change of scenery. Various sources such as Forbes and Thrive Global also claim that lunchbreaks can boost valuable creativity!
So with all that in mind, perhaps with the start of the decade, make yourself a resolution to treat yourself to a full hour’s lunch as much as you can. Your mind, body, eyes and mental wellbeing will thank you!
See our list of our available offices near green spaces so you can look to get out and about more this year.
For more workplace wellness tips and advice on how to create a workspace where your people and business can thrive, keep an eye on www.flexioffices.co.uk.