Are your lunch breaks spent chipping away at your workload whilst snacking on a store-bought sandwich as you go? Do you find yourself thinking your time would be better spent replying to emails than stepping away for lunch? Research has shown that, while typically around half of us choose to forgo a lunch hour at work, eating ‘al desko’ could actually be causing more harm than good in more ways than one.
We’ve put together a Quick & Easy Office Lunch tastelist and written a short article on how you can minimise these problems:
Impacts on health
Studies suggest that being sat in one place for too long can be a detriment to your health for a number of reasons, ranging from increased cholesterol, back problems, leg disorders and even pancreatic diseases, with little movement throughout the day sending your pancreas into overdrive.
A lack of movement throughout the working day can cause aches and pains that go on to impact your personal time too.
Lack of variety
Sitting at your desk from 9 to 5 can have a negative impact on your happiness. Staying in the same place for so long means you could be missing out on time in the sunshine which causes a lack of vitamin D, an important ingredient in the release of serotonin in our brains.
Missing lunch breaks and spending the whole day focussed on work may also mean that you forgo the opportunity to socialise which can in turn be a detriment to your relationships at work.
Both of these things contribute to a lack of variety in your day and impact your overall wellbeing. Getting stuck in a routine where you spend your time in the same place every day can lead to stress.
Swivel chair dining regularly means that you lose track of the number of calories you consume throughout the day by distracted or mindless eating. This occurs when you are preoccupied with other activities while you eat, resulting in your body not properly processing how much you are actually consuming. In these instances your satiety hormone which regulates your energy balance, leptin, is often late in signalling that you are full and you continue to take in more calories than needed.
This does not have to be the case with every office lunch, however. With a few simple changes you could find that your work week becomes a much more productive and less stressful time.
1. Prepare your food beforehand
To prevent poor food choices and quick trips to the vending machine, try preparing healthy lunches the day before and taking your own snacks to work. On top of preventing a higher calorie consumption, these healthier meals can prevent that sluggish, mid-afternoon feeling.
Sliced fruit, raw vegetables and nuts are perfect, quick to prepare snacks that are high in nutrients that will hold off that vending machine craving. Dried or fresh fruits deliver that mid-afternoon sugar kick without all the calories of a chocolate bar.
Why not try out our extra healthy Nut & Seed Energy Bites? Quick to prepare, tasty, and perfect for replenishing vitamins and minerals that are key to keeping you alert and inspired throughout your busy day.
Ditch those supermarket sandwiches with our Quick & Easy Office Lunches tastelist, packed with healthy, delicious lunches to give you a little healthy lunchbox inspiration without compromising on taste. In a pinch, our Pulses & Rice range are an excellent light lunch option, no preparation necessary!
2. Change your environment
Research from Stanford University has shown that getting up and changing our surroundings, be it going for a walk outside or just eating lunch in the canteen, allows your brain the refreshing re-boot it needs and gives you an extra push to be more creative and inspired through the afternoon.1
Furthermore, stretching your legs for short periods of time during your day can help prevent sore joints and tension in your muscles which can be brought on by long working hours.
3. Get chatting
Being social has a positive impact on your mental and physical health, and taking the time during your lunch break to chat with your colleagues or by making plans to meet friends can improve your productivity.
A study carried out by MIT found that office workers who take time to socialise and get to know each other outside of their roles are around 10 percent more productive than those who don’t.2 Using your lunch break as an opportunity to connect with colleagues could lead to a much more effective working team.