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Healthy lunch at officeLunching at your desk is something most of us are guilty of but is it a bad habit? In the long term, can it lead to poor health affects on our bodies? What about if I want to go on Facebook at work – does that count as my lunch break?

Working a full day in the office means legally you should stop and take a one hour break. However, nearly four million Aussies don’t do this because they are too busy and instead eat their lunch at their desk, according to research from think tank The Australian Institute.

“Busy” has become that go-to word for most of us, it’s our answer when people ask how we are doing and what we’ve been up to. We take our smart phones with us and work on the move, we are constantly doing things on the many different screens and we are always in contact with others. I imagine for a lot of people, their lunch break is used for tasks they can’t get to in the weekends – doctors appointments, picking up a prescription or their dry cleaning. But is that how we should be using our “break” time?

The Australian Institute research also found that the majority of people acknowledged that taking a break, even a short one to clear their head, makes them more productive. One in four said taking a full lunch break makes work less stressful and one in three said breaks make work more enjoyable.

I tend to work through my lunch break – but this isn’t just because my PR job is really busy, it’s also because I like to be efficient and to get everything done during my work day. I like to be able to go home at night and take my break then, giving myself time to relax in the comfort of my own home. However, there are days when my brain feels like moosh (yes that’s a technical term) and I need to get outside for a walk and some fresh air.

Though you might like to check your social media at work, which you save for your lunch break, it does seem really important to step away from your desk and give yourself that time to de-stress. Also to give yourself a break from screen-time for your eyes.

Perhaps we should all put on our New Year Resolutions list to take lunch breaks in 2015!

The next issue with lunch breaks is of course the essential part – food. Aside from dinner leftovers, here are some ideas for healthy packed lunches to help you reduce your costs, as buying lunch everyday can get so expensive! You can click the following links for the recipes on some other people’s sites:

For more lunch ideas, check out my Pinterest board with links to lots more great recipes.

Do you take a lunch break at work?! Please let me know in the comments below!

Laura is the Founder & Editor of The Workher. She is an award winning Public Relations professional, who loves blogging about surviving and thriving in the workplace as a young woman.

12 comments on “The Office Lunch Break”

  1. Lunch breaks are hard! My office has the smallest kitchen ever, so you either have to go to a cafe or eat at your desk. I go to the same cafe every day for 30 mins and have some time to myself- it’s wonderful 🙂

    • That’s so good you’ve got your routine Kate! Yes shared office kitchens can be tricky can’t they – especially small ones as they can get a bit messy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. We don’t have a place to eat where I work other than our desks, and it’s a really expensive area of the city so I end up eating in my office every day.

    I clicked on your link from Her Campus because I’ve been trying to find some good lunch ideas that don’t need to be heated (we’re not allowed a microwave either) and are a little more exciting than just a sandwich. I think your suggestions are great, in fact yesterday was couscous and today is bean salad! Oh, and I’m following your pinterest board for more ideas!

    • Thanks for stopping by Claire! I’m so pleased you’ve found some useful info 🙂
      That’s tricky that you end up eating at your desk – and no microwave! Other lunch options could be large rice crackers with something like tuna or avocado and tomato (you could add ricotta too)!

  3. Unless I have a meeting that conflicts, I always take a lunch break and either take a walk or ride my bike. It is crucial to my physical and emotional health. And no, I do not feel guilty when the workaholics tell me they couldn’t possibly take all that time. I just feel sorry for them.

    • Riding your bike is a great idea for a break – what a good way to get some fresh air and unwind! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kristin.

  4. The office lunch break is definitely a case-by-case situation. I’m right there with you chowing down at my desk.

    This is partly due to the fact that my position doesn’t permit a lunch break although we can “step away” as frequent as we desire. I hate germs so I make it my personal goal to only to eat things that can be consumed with a fork/spoon at work. I don’t care how good I think I’ve washed my hands I’m 100% sure that they’re filthy by the time I get back to my desk to chow down! Oh the woes of eating on the go!

    • Yes good point that it’s case by case – quite right! We all have to do what suits us best. That’s a good point too re germs! I often have hand sanitizer at my desk ! Thanks Naomi

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