Quick question: When was the last time you suffered through a ‘sad desk lunch?’ You know what I’m talking about…you want nothing more than to escape from the never-ending pile of work, but instead, take out a soggy sandwich or leftover salad in fear of being judged by your boss and coworkers who are expecting you to eke out every precious second to finish that important report or presentation.
While you may think that powering through lunch will help you get to the finish line—and make you look like a hardworking employee—bypassing the break can actually do more harm than good, according to research from Tork. In fact, people who take time for lunch score higher on a wide range of workplace engagement metrics, including job satisfaction and productivity. If you aren’t yet convinced to part from your post, here are five reasons why heading out for a midday meal is necessary for good health:
- You’ll feel happier: Taking time away from your desk will allow you to come back feeling reinvigorated for the day ahead. In fact, nearly 90 percent of millennials—the largest generation in today’s workforce—say leaving the office for lunch helps them feel refreshed and ready to tackle whatever tasks remain. What’s more, spending as little as just a few minutes outdoors is shown to substantially boost your mood, according to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
- You’ll bond with coworkers: Establishing strong interpersonal relationships while on the job is very important to your wellbeing. Not only does eating lunch with an office buddy allow you to de-stress, but it also enables you to exchange ideas and get to know your colleagues on a deeper level by connecting over one of life’s greatest pleasures—food!
- You’ll boost your concentration and productivity: While taking a respite may seem counter to hard work, it’s actually one of the best things you can do for your brain. It gives your mind and body the energy it needs to keep you focused once you return to your desk.
- You’ll help your body: It’s no secret that walking is good for your health, and it’s even more important for those who find themselves staring at a computer screen all day long. Taking time away from your desk to stroll to a nearby restaurant or even a gym can lead to a host of improvements, including better cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of eye strain.
- You’re less likely to experience burnout: Working through lunch can leave you feeling depressed, unmotivated and overwhelmed. While you may be able to get away with skipping it every once in a while, a pattern of this behavior can quickly result in burnout and exhaustion.
Join me in celebrating National Take Back the Lunch Break Day on June 21 by taking the pledge to #takebacklunch. To learn more about the benefits of reclaiming your lunch break and enter to win a free lunch for you and your coworkers on National Take Back the Lunch Break Day, visit torkusa.com/TBTLB.
This post is sponsored by Tork, an Essity brand.