Are you one of the millions of workers that eat lunch at your desk on a daily basis? Truth be told, most of us have at one time or another. Rather than taking the time to spend a leisurely lunch hour properly digesting food, we wolf down lunch at the desk and continue job stress without a break. Whether you do it because it makes you feel indispensable or you are overwhelmed with work, it’s not a good idea. Eating lunch at your desk can not only affect your health, but your emotional and psychological being as well.
If you must eat at your desk – consider the following tips for staying healthy and productive:
1 – How would you like to catch a nasty bug? Germs are probably the last thoughts on your mind when eating at your desk. Your desk, however, can be a breeding ground for nasty micro-organisms. Your work area is often crowded with papers from other co-workers, pencils chewed by previous owners and a stomping ground for your co-worker with the “sinus infection.” If you absolutely must eat at your desk, clear a substantial area to place your food and utensils. Before you put down your picnic, wipe the area with disinfectant.
2 – Take a walk. Walk your trash to the trash can farthest from your desk. Computer work can be pretty sedentary and eating lunch at your desk is only perpetuating a bad habit. When you are finished with your lunch, take a walk to get some exercise. If you can walk around the building, up and down stairs – or even to the farthest lunch room trash can, you will be getting in a little bit of exercise to help your food digest. Another plus is the lack of residual smells. You might have enjoyed the tuna, but the smell might not be so appealing an hour later.
3 – Keep it light. If you are sitting at your desk all day, eating unhealthy food is compounding the problem. Make healthier food choices. If you need to eat the leftover pasta from last night’s dinner, perhaps you should get up from your desk and be a little more active.
4 – Take a work load self assessment. Are you really so busy you can not spare 15 to 20 minutes away from your desk? Are you that indispensable, or do is it your perception? If you were to leave the company tomorrow, what do you think would happen? True, you may be very important but the company will go on. Why not give them 15-20 minutes to realize how important you are? If nothing else, the work will be there when you get back. Stepping away will give you a fresh perspective on that tough problem.
Believe it or not, a lunch break is not just about eating lunch. Getting up and away from your desk will help to increase metabolism and get your blood circulating. Lunch break should be a time of rejuvenating your brain cells.