5 Reasons to Stop Eating Lunch at Your Desk
Every day around 67 percent of office workers are eating lunch at their desks. The impetus to work through the midday meal is clear: To your boss, eating in front of your computer shows commitment. To you, typing between forkfuls of salad is hopefully a quicker means to an end, the “end” being the end of the workday. But even if you’re eating all the right things—a healthy blend of fiber, protein, and fat, followed by a chaser of H2O—you’re still doing your body a disservice by staying in your seat.
Here are five reasons you should steer clear of eating at your desk and opt to dine somewhere—pretty much anywhere—else:
- You’re Sedentary for Longer. It’s simple math really, when you lunch at your desk; you sit for an extra hour each day. And regardless of if your workday is 8, 9, or 12 hours—desk eating tacks on additional time to your workday. Alternatively, going out to get your lunch from a café and then walking to a nearby park ensures you get in a few extra steps and a quick physically active break.
- Mindless Eating Means Eating More. Desk eating equals mindless eating—you know the meals you eat as you answer emails and read paperwork, and suddenly you’ve mowed through an entire foot long sub! Preoccupied noshing doesn’t allow your body and brain to properly realize you’re full so you end up overeating and gaining weight.
- You Miss the Social Work Experience. Force yourself to eat away from your desk and you’ll suddenly realize how much you like your co-workers. The social aspect of work is important to create a sense of team, lower stress, and encourage productivity.
- You make poorer food choices. A survey found that people who sit at their desk for lunch are more apt to consume fattening foods all day long. That means less-healthy choices at lunch—frozen lasagna, anyone?—and more trips to the vending machine later in the day. That’s hundreds of extra calories, all because you didn’t want to push back your desk chair and find a new place to eat lunch!
- Your brainstorming becomes blah. Stuck on a problem at work? Getting up for a walk during the day—say, on your way to lunch—can actually help you return to the office feeling refreshed. That’s what research found: People who were tasked with thinking about creative uses for everyday objects while walking came up with more ideas than people who brainstormed while sitting.