Complain about being tired? Somebody tells you to take a break. Mention that you’ve had a stressful week at work? Somebody tells you to take a break. Turn on the television and even Kit Kat are telling you to take a break.
So, you get it. Taking a break is a great thing to do when you’re feeling a bit burned out and worked to the max. In this article, however, we want to familiarise you with the invaluable benefits of taking a midday break on a daily basis regardless of your energy levels or to-do list.
A report carried out by ukactive and Sodexo recently revealed in the Independent that the average worker’s lunch break is now only 22 minutes long. This is one third shorter than it was 6 years ago.
The statistics also revealed that 1 in 5 people don’t leave their desks during their allocated lunch breaks, which can be extremely detrimental for both physical and mental health. So much so, in fact, that some are now even arguing that lunch breaks should be enforced by law.
For now though – as the saying goes – you can lead the horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You can provide staff with the mandatory lunch hour but there’s not a great deal business owners or managers can do to actually make them stop work and move away from the desk to refuel or relax.
What we can do though is help promote the benefits of taking a lunch break and spread the word around its importance. So, here goes.
Give your eyes a rest
Spending too much time in front of a screen can put serious strain on your eyes which can result in migraines and in some cases, a deterioration of sight. See your lunch break as the perfect excuse to go screen-free for a while.
Take your lunch break as the ideal excuse to get up out of your seat, stretch your legs and get that blood pumping again. Experts recommend some form of physical movement for at least 2 minutes every half hour so the least you can do is get moving during your lunch break.
Practice mindful eating
Sitting down and focusing on your food will encourage you to think more about what you’re putting in your mouth. Are you eating too much sugar? Are you getting sufficient nutrients? Are you drinking enough water?
A study by DeskTime found that the average workplace desk can be 400 times dirtier than the average public toilet seat. Gross, right? Eating food away from your desk is an effective way to improve this shocking figure.
Refocus and clear your mind
All of the above will help nurture your mental wellbeing, reduce stress levels and enable you to return to your desk in a refreshed state of mind, ready to perform to your full potential.
If you’ve got any of your own thoughts or advice on the topic that you’d like to share with us, please feel to do so by joining us on Twitter or Facebook.