We all know that feeling, too much to do, too little time… multitasking; eating your lunch at your desk while continuing to work, dropping the crumbs on your keyboard (oops!) or ploughing on straight through lunch and not stopping. It’s saving me time, I will get more done… but will it?

Your concentration starts to wane later in the afternoon, you make that silly mistake as your focus is not as good as it was in the morning, your muscles start to stiffen up as you haven’t moved from that same spot all day and to top it all off you are not even paid for your lunch break so you were working for free!

Having a lunch break and moving away from your desk gives your body and mind a rest and chance to refuel and re focus.

why should we take work breaks

If you find it hard to stop for a lunch break (and often I do!) then ensure you arrange to have your lunch with a colleague away from your desk so that you have to stop. You will feel better for it, a catch up on the latest gossip, a walk around the gardens, take your mind away from the constant of work which is normally at least half of your waking day.

Ensuing adequate hydration and regular eating can support you in accurate decision making, help prevent lower concentration levels, help prevent fatigue and help prevent anxiety.

lunch ideas to take to work with you:

  • Sandwich (wholegrain bread or wrap) with meat / fish / cheese / hummus filling with plenty of salad.
  • Salad box: put a variety of things in, for example – green salad plus sweetcorn, grated carrot with some cooked pasta / rice / quinoa, cooked meat or fish, chunks of cheese or blob of hummus.
  • Wholegrain crackers with coleslaw, salad, cheese.

If you have access to a microwave:

  • Jacket potato (normal or sweet potato) with salad, grated cheese or baked beans.
  • Chunky soup with wholegrain bread or crackers
  • Left over dinner from the night before!

Healthy snacks:

  • Handful of unsalted nuts – almonds, walnuts, brazil
  • Whole fruit
  • Pot of berries or chopped fruit
  • Wholegrain crackers with hummus, vegetable dip

If you are the person that continues to work through lunch, then I challenge you to take your lunch away from your desk every day for a week and then see how you feel. Will it be relaxed and re booted or stressed and cranky!

Our lunch break

This post was to coincide with the British Dietetic Associations ‘Dietitians Week’ campaign. The theme of the week was healthy eating in the work place.