By Brian Acton
Some days, it might feel more efficient to wolf down your workday lunch alone at your desk. You can try to meet deadlines or make progress on emails as you refuel.
But there are many benefits to making time in your schedule for getting up from your desk and taking a proper lunch break. Here are four reasons not to eat lunch at your desk.
- You’re Missing Socialization
The psychological and physical benefits of socializing are well documented. In the workplace, interactions with other human beings can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and make you happier and physically healthier. In the modern age of telework, text messages, and emails, there may be reduced chances for social engagement even in a crowded workplace. You should try to catch up with work friends, have lunch with coworkers, or just make small talk with whoever’s in the break room.
- You’re Reducing the Quality of Your Work
You may not be as efficient at multitasking as you think you are. While technology lets us attempt more tasks concurrently, your brain still ends up shifting focus rather than truly working on two things at once. So while you may want to catch up on a project while you eat, you won’t be able to do both as effectively.
Taking a lunch break an also help you reboot, gain a fresh perspective, and return to your desk with renewed focus. Breaks can help reduce feelings of stress and burnout, so make sure to prioritize them.
- Getting Up from Your Desk is Good for Your Health
Long periods of inactivity at your desk are bad for your health. Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. For this reason, it’s a good idea to break up the hours spent at your desk with activity. You can venture outside to get lunch, go for a walk around the office, or get up to go to the break room. Use your lunch break as an opportunity to sneak some exercise into your day.
- Your Desk is Dirty
Your office desk might be much dirtier than common areas that get cleaned more regularly. Your desk, phone, and keyboard can contain more germs and bacteria than the average lunch break room. Make sure to wash your hands regularly, clean your desk consistently, and get up to eat lunch elsewhere.