When your stomach rumbles do you rush out grab lunch and eat it at your desk? And if you do, when finished eating do you disinfect your desk, wiping down your keyboard and surrounding areas. Most of us can honestly say that we don’t.
If we told you that your keyboard is 400 times dirtier than your toilet seat, would this help you change your habits. Or would you consider packing up your lunch and taking it into the loo, you may as well.
If you have a stressful job or are busy working on a project the very idea of downing tools and getting yourself lunch can set us into an unpleasant spin. But it should be the opposite. Thrashing away at the keyboard (which you are unlikely to ever touch again), starring transfixed at the screen is not good for our health. We become tired, irritable and unproductive. And in this state, we are likely to get less work done and instead increase the risk of mistakes.
Getting up from our desk, stretching, walking, having a change of scenery can help us to stay fit, active and healthy. Plus, it helps to reenergise the brain. Making us happier, healthier and more productive. You may not realise but eating at your desk makes you hungrier causing you to binge eat leading to other health problems.
Does the thought of sitting alone in the canteen or the local café terrify you? To combat this problem, we decide to sit lonely, sad and isolated at our desks pretending to be too busy to chat. And by doing this we are losing out on networking opportunities and the time to hang out with friends and have a laugh.
There is nothing more unappealing then the smell of egg sandwiches mixed into the office air. Nor is it attractive watching your colleagues stuffing their faces. The mix of odours and the general disregard for etiquette can make us resentful towards our team mates. Consideration for others in the office is not always a top priority when we are hungry or busy, but it should be.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your boss will thank you for remaining at your desk. You aren’t fooling anyone by being falsely committed to the job with sandwich in hand. Resist the urge to copy others and say no to peer pressure. Heading out for lunch will see you arrive back newly energised and refocused to tackle the afternoon ahead.
Suggestions on how to manage your lunch break
If you are perplexed about how to spend your lunch hour try doing one of these:
• Invite a colleague to lunch – getting to know people that you work with can increase your happiness within the office.
• Plan to sit outside in the park – getting fresh air can blow away the office cobwebs.
• Brush off those crumbs and head out for a walk – stretching your legs will help alleviate your joints.
• Call a family member or friend for a chat – asking someone else about themselves can help get you out of yourself.
• Practise mindfulness – using mediation can help to clear the mind and open it up to creative solutions.
• Listen to music or read a book – get lifted by hearing your favourite song or have some quiet time reading your favourite book.
• Run errands or arrange personal appointments – use the time to sort out other areas of your life.
Whatever you choose to do surely anything is better than sitting starring at your computer screen, lonely and at risk of damaging your health. And if you are still struggling for something to do, go out and buy some disinfectant wipes and hand them around the office. At least this will get you talking to your colleagues.
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