Too busy for lunch? We’re all guilty of skipping a lunch break and simply scoffing something quickly at our desks or while on the job. However, research suggests that there is much to be gained professionally if you make the effort to step away from your desk.
A recent research study by ING found that:
- The typical Aussie lunch break is between 15-30 minutes
- 37 per cent of us spend lunchtime catching up on phone calls; 31 per cent do personal admin, 30 per cent go shopping and 24 per cent catch up on social media
- 31 per cent of us eat lunch in a communal area at/near work
- 7 per cent use their lunch break to go to the gym
- Almost one in three (28 per cent) of people habitually eat at their desk; 33 per cent are skipping lunch entirely once or more a week; and 10 per cent work through their lunch break.
Research has also found that taking a lunch break and including progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing had a positive impact on reducing blood pressure, improving quality of sleep, reducing asthma, reduction in rheumatic complaints, effective in fighting fatigue and increasing productivity.
One of the biggest productivity myths is that productivity equals hours worked. It’s is much more about what we actually accomplish during the hours that we are working. Hunching over your desk all day and locking your body and brain in artificial light and stale air is a great way to turn your output onto ‘go slow’ mode for the afternoon. Taking a lunch break is a proven way to increase productivity and decision making throughout the afternoon.
A number of proactive companies are now encouraging their employees to take breaks and making it part of their culture. Grab a colleague or your entire team and get outside for a quick bite. Not only will it help productivity, it’s also a great way to get to know your colleagues better.
The real proof in this experiment is trying it for yourself. Today (or tomorrow), lock in a lunch break and assess how you feel during the afternoon shift. Are you more alert? Are you more productive? Do you feel more focused after a lunch break?
So, with spring upon us, get out and enjoy your lunch in the sunshine.
More information on WorkHealth can be found at workhealth.vic.gov.au