It’s midday already and the work has piled up in your inbox. You’re tempted to just grab a quick bite to eat at your desk so you can get on top of things. However, you may want to reconsider. Working through your lunch break so you can accomplish more may end up having the opposite effect.
Research has found that lunch breaks are critical not only to employee wellbeing, but also to productivity. Workers that consistently take a lunch break experience better health, less stress, and more creativity. Since happy and healthy employees create a prosperous business, they take these benefits back to the workplace.
Want proof? Consider:
Changing locations stimulates creativity.
A change of scenery is often just what you need to have the breakthrough or ‘aha’ moment you’ve been waiting for. Taking a mental break and moving your body also allow you to sustain concentration levels throughout the afternoon.
Fresh air and sunlight boost mood.
Natural sunlight and fresh air stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that creates an elevated mood. Happier workers generate a happier workplace, leading to better retention and higher job satisfaction.
Keeping food off your desk is healthier.
Gross but true: desks and keyboards often harbor high levels of bacteria, which can multiply from food droppings left by lunch at your desk. This bacteria could eventually make you and others around you sick, leading to less productivity and dreaded downtime.
Healthy food feeds better brain function.
Food high in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants fuels both your body and your mind. Whole, nutritious food supports learning and memory, as well as blood flow and muscle function. Studies show that organic food is even higher in nutrients than its conventional counterpart. And foods such as hummus—high in tryptophans—help your body produce more serotonin, increasing your well-being and happiness.
Mindful eating reduces stress.
For a few minutes during lunch, focus only on the tastes and sensations of your meal. Breathe deeply, chew slowly, and take a few moments to close your eyes and fully relax. This is mindful eating, and it’s been shown to drastically reduce stress, lowering blood pressure and even improving sleep.
So go ahead, enjoy your lunch break! If you choose Nanoosh, we’ll be pleased: our seating is comfortable and our restaurants inviting, allowing you to savor your lunch break fully—rather than just grab-and-go. And when you show up at work again smiling and ready to perform, be sure to let them know you ate at Nanoosh, and help us to spread the word.