Each day more than 67 percent of office workers eat lunch at their desks. This is more than half of the American workforce. Eating lunch at your desk is also highly discouraged by many professionals. You can make a mess on your desk or even get food on your keyboard. I am guilty of eating lunch at my desk and I wanted to share with you some of the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. So here are 4 of the best reasons why you shouldn’t eat lunch at your desk.
You Tend To Eat More
When you eat lunch at your desk, there is a good chance you will experience “distracted eating.” According to the New York Times, “Casual munching in front of a screen can lead to increased consumption of calories, and will also result in more weight gain”. One thing you need to understand is that you tend to snack more and eat more food, as well as, consume more calories when you eat alone on your desk. When you are preoccupied while eating, for example, when using your computer your brain will not be able to process the amount of food that you eat. Along the way, the hormone leptin is often late when signaling the brain that is time to stop eating.
Make Poor Food Choices When You Eat Lunch at Your Desk
Many studies and research have found out that people who eat lunch at your desk tend to consume a wide variety unhealthy foods all day long. Unhealthy food choices generally leads to more bad choices. I know that when I mess up, I tend to continue making bad choices without even realizing it. An unhealthy lunch often leaves me feeling hungry just in time for a mid-afternoon snack.
I was guilty of doing eating lunch at my desk over 10 years ago. I didn’t like sitting in rush hour traffic so I would often take a 30-minute lunch so that I could leave the office a bit earlier. Then when I switched jobs and started taking an hour for lunch, that I ended up not putting on additional pounds. My employer even had a wellness program that gave you credit for making healthy choices so I would often take my lunch and try to walk several times a week.
Is Your Career Killing You?
You sit longer for longer periods of time when you opt to eat your lunch on your desk. Instead, it is better to get up from your desk chair during your breaks and lunch period. Simple trips to the office cafeteria or dining hall can surprisingly make leave feel refreshed and it gives you a moment to step away from what your working on. Plus, your level of inactivity grows exponentially when you choose to eat at your desk everyday. By getting up and moving to another area during your lunch break, allows you to get your blood flowing and allows you to stretch your legs.
“Workplace satisfaction improves when you eat with your colleagues during lunch,” according to the director of Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, Brian Wansink. When you eat away from your away desk, you will be able to socialize with your coworkers around you more. Besides that eating with others increase your overall happiness, improves your health, and reduces your stress. So next time that you find yourself eating at your desk, pick up your lunch and head to the break room. Sit down with a few of your co-workers. This gives you a chance to spend time getting to know each other. It will also make going to work more enjoyable, and it gives you a chance to network with your colleagues.
When you choose to stand up and move around during lunch time, you do not only give your brain a break but your body as well. It is important that you take the time to eat away from your desk because it provides plenty of health and social benefits that you may not readily recognize.
Do you currently eat lunch at your desk? Did you realize how unhealthy eating at your desk and could be contributing to health problems?