Lunch Breaks: The Key to Success at Work

Lunch Breaks Healthy Beneficial Work

For those who work in an office, you know how rare lunch breaks are. Instead of walking around, you take out that boring sandwich that’s been sitting on your desk all morning and continue doing the same work at your computer, either for a deadline, or the pure motivation of leaving before 11 p.m. You may not even realize you haven’t taken a lunch break because over your time at the office, it’s become standard routine.

But, according to a new study, you may want to consider taking a lunch break from now on.

According to a study done by researchers at Humboldt University in Berlin, lunchtime eating habits can have an effect on both thinking and emotional states. In the study, 16 of 32 female participants ate alone an office, while the other 16 went out to lunch with others. The meals consumed in the company of others included a brief walk to a local food hub, and subjects were given time to select meals carefully, and were eaten at a slower pace in the company of others. The lunches eaten at the office were consumed in a shorter period of time, not to mention, subjects were alone. After their meals, researchers took measurements of semantic memory, cognitive control, error processing, processing of emotional facial expressions, and a questionnaire was given so subjects could rank their mood. The findings were not surprising—those who ate at the restaurant with others were more relaxed, had less cognitive control and allowed them to better process facial expressions, possibly increasing their creativity and connection with their coworkers.

But leaving your desk for lunch isn’t just a relaxing way to break up the day. Although a long off-site lunch might seem like a productivity-killer, it could actually help you get more done, Fast Company reported.

Many don’t take lunch because they simply don’t have the time, but the study showed that the more relaxed you were, the less stressed you became. It’s possible that more work could get done because of that hour your brain has “off.” People work more efficiently when relaxed, that doesn’t take rocket science to figure out. Stress added on day after day prohibits effort and motivation to get things done, and instead harms your health. Making connections with coworkers is also important in an overall office setting. It can eliminate misunderstanding between people who don’t know each other, increase business connections, and even allow a relationship to form outside of the office.

Lunch breaks may seem to be counterproductive, but really, they could be helping different aspects of your emotional states, therefore affecting the way you perform at work. Not to mention, you can spend less time preparing or purchasing your lunch in the morning, allowing you to get to work earlier.

Besides, who wants to stare at the same computer screen or work project all day long? Get some fresh air, catch up with work friends, and enjoy that hour you deserve!

How do you spend your lunch hour?

Featured photo credit: joguldi via photopin cc


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