6 Reasons Why You Should Take a Lunch Break Every Day
Studies have shown that fewer than 20% of Americans regularly step away from their desks for a lunch break. This trend is fueled by the perception that the most dedicated and valuable employees are the ones who are constantly available and on-task, and that taking a lunch break is counter-intuitive.
However, the opposite is actually true. Putting in the most number of hours at your desk doesn’t mean that you are the hardest working and most productive employee. It’s been proven that the most productive employees are actually the ones who take regular breaks lasting 17 minutes each. (quote)
Simply taking a short lunch break every day can have the following affects:
There are diminishing marginal returns when you work 8 hours straight. In fact, out of those 8 hours, you probably only have a few hours where you actually are very productive. Our brains are not capable of paying close attention to any task at hand for long periods of time. Taking short breaks throughout the day will make those working times more productive overall.
Boost Your Creativity
Staying at your desk all day is detrimental to your creativity. A simple change of scenery for 30 minutes or so can have a tremendous impact on your overall mindset. Taking a break from cognitive thinking improves our ability to get the tough stuff done later.
Time to Unwind and Recharge
Lunch is a great time to dedicate to your wellbeing. Try meditation, or if that’s not your thing, get some exercise. Maybe you don’t have time to get an actual workout in at the gym, but try walking to go get lunch or run errands. Stretching your muscles and waking up your body is a great use of your lunch break. After all, our bodies weren’t built for sitting down all day.
Better Eating Habits
You are more likely to eat a healthy and nutritious meal if you take the time to enjoy it. Not only will you appreciate the taste more, but you are also less likely to overeat. Lunch is your chance to fuel your body and brain for the rest of the afternoon. In fact, the worst thing you can do for your mental performance is to skip your noon meal.
Gives Your Eyes a Break
Our eyes need a break from looking at our computer screens all day. Even if you practice the 20-20-20 rule, your lunch break is a great time to give your eyes a longer break from any sort of eye strain.
Build Stronger Relationships
Engaging with coworkers outside of your cubicle can help your career in the long run. Not only will you build a strong working team, but you can use your lunch break to forge the social connections you need to get ahead in your career.