It’s easy to get caught up in work. Your to-do list grows with each passing second, and you can only accomplish so much before it’s time to clock out and head home.
So it’s understandable why you choose to eat lunch at your desk. You think that this time allows you to accomplish more, or that your boss will be impressed by your dedication.
What you don’t realize, however, is that eating lunch at your desk is bad news in more ways than one. And you should do whatever you can to avoid it. Here’s why.
Your Brain Needs a Rest
You get a lunch break for a reason: your brain needs some downtime. Working straight through lunch exhausts your mind by depriving it of a much-needed break.
Just as your night’s sleep allows your body and mind to recharge, your lunch break acts as a midday session to revamp your mental capacity. When you don’t take a 30- to 60-minute lunch break, your mind becomes groggy and slow (much like you’d be without a good night’s sleep).
You’ll Be More Productive
Because working through lunch robs you of a mental breather, you’re actually less productive when you eat at your desk. Your mind will perform slower, hindering your ability to complete duties accurately and efficiently.
Plus, when you take a lunch break away from your desk, you have greater motivation to get more accomplished before and after your break.
Your Desk Is Dirty
Believe it or not, your desk is a nasty area, covered in germs and bacteria. Consider these facts: A computer mouse, on average, is said to house 846 germs per square inch. Your keyboard, meanwhile, has about 719.
The cafeteria, a local restaurant and the park around the corner are likely cleaner options. It’d be pretty ironic to get sick and miss a few days of work simply because you decided to be an overachiever and skip a lunch break.
You Should Savor Your Food
When you’re working and eating at the same time, your work will suck up most of your mental functions. As a result, you won’t have the time or mindfulness to savor each bite you take. This is unfortunate because food should be appreciated to the fullest, and it can also lead you to overeat.
You Need Face-to-Face Interactions
Socializing with co-workers is more important than you think. Interacting with others (face-to-face, not through email) can boost your mood and will make work more enjoyable. Another thing to remember is this: choosing your desk over the cafeteria can separate you from the other employees, hindering potential relationships.
You Should Switch Up Your Environment
Staring at your screen all day, in the confines of your desk, is stifling.
It’s stifling for your mind, and it’s stifling for your body.
Stepping into a fresh environment, if only for a short time, will freshen your mind and thoughts. As for your body, getting up and moving allows you to stretch, improves posture, gets your blood flowing and is an overall way better option than staying stationary in the sitting position all day long.
Throw all of these reasons together and you can see the light: stop eating lunch at your desk. Now.
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