Facts & figures
According to a British study, amongst 5000 employees only one in ten takes a break for lunch. Two thirds say, they take their lunch at their desk. Only three percent are taking time for a proper lunch. According to UK law, workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute break during their working day, if they work more than 6 hours a day. But why do we make so little use of those 20 minutes?
A high workload will undoubtedly be one of the reasons. Often we work through a break to get the task on hand done, while we hastily eat a sandwich. But eating quickly, we take in too much air which can put a strain on our digestive system. That cannot be healthy. Yet still, we do it all the time.
We sit too much and exercise too little
It’s all over the news and the internet: Prolonged sitting puts strain on our muscles and joints and can lead to physical problem and pain. Sufficient movement is important. At BMA Ergonomics we know that too well. Get a coffee or tea, walk to the printer, and walk while you are taking on the phone, or work standing up for alternation (if you have access to a sit-stand workstation). These little things contribute towards more movement during the working day, but the lunch break is equally important.
Take a break
Other than movement there are plenty of other reasons why we shouldn’t eat lunch at our workstation. It is difficult to stay focussed for hours. Taking a break means you give your mind a rest as well to return refreshed to work. In addition a break can add a social aspect. Agree with you colleagues to not only talk about work, work and work. Or, how about a lunchtime walk to get some fresh air? It even is advised to exercise half an hour a day, so why not do it at lunch?
Next time when you catch yourself wanting to work through lunch – take a break. Skipping is not an option after all.