The Perils of Eating Lunch at Your Desk

Put down that sandwich!

According to the NY Times, 62% of professionals eat lunch at their desks, and other studies say that number could actually be as high as 80%.

But it’s hard to picture Batman chowing down on leftovers at his workstation in the Batcave. Maybe that’s because he knows that eating at your desk isn’t good for you. In fact, the case against eating lunch at your desk is pretty strong.

Here are three reasons to leave the Batcave at lunch time – besides avoiding getting crumbs in your keyboard.

Your Health

When you eat lunch at your desk, odds are you’re not completely focused on what you’re doing. In order to enjoy your food and eat mindfully, you’ve got to pay attention. Not only will you get to savor what you’re eating, you’ll also be more likely to stop eating after you become full – something people don’t always notice when they’ve got one eye on their computer while they munch.

Besides, lunch is the perfect time to get out of your chair and move around. You want to get that blood flowing so you’ll be back and ready to tackle the bad guys as soon as your hour is over.

Folks who sit all day put themselves at risk for:

  • muscle degeneration
  • leg disorders
  • strained necks and backs, and
  • organ damage, including heart disease and pancreatic problems.

As a hero manager, you need to stay in fighting shape if you’re going succeed.

Your Sidekicks and Fellow Heroes

There’s a reason superheroes team up so frequently. Your relationships, both personal and professional, at work are important; personal relationships enhance your overall job satisfaction, and good luck getting anything done without developing professional relationships.

But it’s hard – if not impossible – to foster relationships when you’re hiding out at your desk during lunch.

A Cornell University study found that firefighter teams that regularly ate together were more likely to demonstrate better ground performance and cooperative behavior. That’s because spending time together helps form a bond that can really pay off.

Think of lunch as an opportunity to network with your fellow heroes and make yourself available to employees.

Your Productivity

Think you don’t have time for a lunch break? Chew on this: Researchers have found that professionals who take breaks and socialize are, in fact, more productive than those who don’t.

The truth is, even if you’re the Six Million Dollar Man, you’re not a machine. People have limitations and need mental and physical breaks. And lunchtime is the perfect time to step away from your work and refresh yourself for the afternoon.

Ever been stumped about a problem, walked away from it and then, from out of nowhere, been struck by a solution? That’s because you gave your brain the opportunity to consider fresh ideas that might have seemed too “outside the box” to consider while you were at work.

Giving yourself a break during lunch by physically removing yourself from your workspace will allow your brain to reboot and get ready for post-lunchtime tasks.

Realistically, there are always going to be days when eating lunch at your desk is going to happen. You might be swamped with work or feeling like you need some quiet time to yourself. We get it, even Superman needs a break every now and then.

But making a habit of eating at your desk every day is something to avoid – if only to keep stray bits of food from jamming your gear.

Who’s guilty of working during lunch? Let us know in the comments if you think you’ll be able to fight back and put down the sandwich


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