Our daily lunch break is severely underrated.

Research proves it combats fatigue, boosts productivity and increases overall health.

Science is basically telling us that taking a proper break is like a magic pill for work performance.

But despite all this, in many workplaces its persistently perceived as an unnecessary luxury and the first thing sacrificed during a busy period.

This mismatch between how workplace culture views taking a break, versus how much breaks can actually benefit performance, presents a tricky situation for young professionals.

In order to prove ourselves, it’s easy to adopt the trend of eating at our desks to make sure we’re viewed as conscientious and hardworking.

But while our intent may be admirable, science proves skipping lunch is doing more harm than good.

So what do we do? My take is, if you’re serious about proving yourself in the office, it’s time to get serious about taking your lunch break.

Taking a lunch break boosts productivity

By getting out of work mode and into a more relaxed mental state, taking a break optimises your productivity through the afternoon.

Research shows productivity can be further increased by using your break for activities that are enjoyable or restful, like taking a walk outside or catching up with friends.

Management Professor Kimberly Elsbach says taking a break can also boost creativity, something many workers find difficult during an afternoon slump in energy and focus.

“Never taking a break from very careful thought work actually reduces your ability to be creative,” Professor Elsbach says.

“It sort of exhausts your cognitive capacity and you’re not able to make the creative connections you can if your brain is more rested.”

Taking a lunch break is good for your health

Apart from obvious health benefits like increased daily movement and breaks in screen time, a proper lunch break can have significant beneficial impacts on your hormones.

A 2010 study demonstrated how breaks featuring progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing can combat high cortisol levels.

These lowered cortisol levels resulted in reduced blood pressure and improved sleep quality in workers.

And you don’t need a lunch break devoted to meditation to achieve these types of results. A simple walk outside with a few deep breaths will help combat stress and leave you feeling refreshed.

Need some recipe ideas to get started? Check out these ideas from Be Healthy Today.

How to get started:

  1. Get outside – find a park or green space and head out for a walk
  2. Ditch your iPhone – we get enough screen time as it is so keep your smart phone out of sight
  3. Short and sharp is better than none – a quick break will do wonders for productivity so during busy periods try to schedule at least 20 minutes for lunch. Add it to your work calendar to avoid last minute meetings cutting into break time

For an entertaining read on the same subject, head over to Huffington Post to check out Alyssa Spatola’s week of non-negotiable lunch breaks. Her key takeaway was “The world will not end because you ate a salad outside”. Truth.

Until next time,

Madeleine xo

Reposted from Instagram @lexiscleankitchen

 

Reposted from Instagram @lexiscleankitchen

 

Reposted from Instagram @lexiscleankitchen