Not Taking a Lunch Break is a Terrible Idea

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Not Taking a Lunch Break is a Terrible Idea

If you’re reading this and you haven’t left your desk since you arrived at the office, please do the following: Get up and go outside! Take a break! And if your boss gives you grief for stepping away from your work, call him or her over to your desk and make your Overlord read this.

NPR recently reported that not taking a lunch break is a terrible idea. When people don’t step away from their desks for some downtime, their work and creativity suffers. And a lot of employees work must be suffering, because a recent Right Management Study found that only one-in-five employees take an “actual lunch break.”

Yikes.

So, why is it so bad to work through lunch and work extra-long hours? I mean, you’re probably getting a lot of work done, right? Ha – no. When you don’t step away from your desk regularly, everything you do is probably not as good as it could be:

… “studies have also found that the longer you stay at work, the more important it is to get outside of the office, even if it's just for a few minutes, because creativity can take a hit when you don't change environments.” – NPR

In fact, it’s really important for people to get away from any office-like setting altogether.

Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management, told NPR that creativity and innovation peak when people expose themselves “to a nature-like environment.” When workers step away from the office, it gives their brains the ability to ruminate on ideas and mull over possible project solutions.

NPR also points out that people don’t actually have to eat lunch on their lunch break, or even take a break from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. – workers just need to get out of the office.

What are your thoughts about getting out of the office during the day? I know I’m a big fan of it. I always take mini-walk and yoga breaks to give my brain a rest.

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Woman eating lunch image via Shutterstock

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