Why you should always take a lunch break

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Dimitrios Paschos was featured on Yahoo News in an article about British workers not taking their lunch breaks.

According to recent research, Britons are taking only half of their lunch break, which equates to an extra five days of work each year!


Importance of lunch breaks

Not taking work lunch breaks is a rising trend in Britain

Work pressure, inability to say no, job insecurity and deadlines are just some of the reasons employees trade their lunch break for a quick sandwich at their desk. However, Dr Paschos explains this can be detrimental to both the employee and productivity in the long run, adding to work place stress and affecting performance.

“Often there is a very strong temptation to skip a lunch break to catch up with work, however, this can be counter-productive; regular breaks away from the desk have many advantages both physically and mentally and can also have a positive impact on individual and team performance” explains Dr Dimitrios Paschos. 

Eating lunch at your desk could impact your health

Dr Paschos also explains that eating at our desks can encourage us to eat quickly, which can have an adverse effect on our health; “We tend to eat faster when at our desks, which means that the stomach doesn’t have enough time to send signals of fullness to the brain, causing us to overeat. “We also tend to consume more calories when we eat quickly,” he adds.

Take a walk to clear your mind

Dr Paschos encourages people to get active in their lunch break. Going for a walk in the fresh air (away from the air conditioning or central heating), is beneficial to the muscles as well as having restorative effects on the mind and concentration.

Your lunch break could improve mental performance

Mental performance is improved when we take breaks. It enables better decision-making and attention to the tasks at hand. “Mental performance drops if we don’t take breaks; decision-making becomes slower, attention levels wane and thinking can become more rigid,” he adds.

Breaks at work help to reduce stress

Work place stress is a rising concern amongst the British workforce. Working through a lunch break or working consecutive late nights and weekends impacts health negatively. Poor work-life balance, increased stress, lack of free time to enjoy hobbies, increased risk of fatigue or burnout and reduced work productivity are just some of the consequences that workers may experience.


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