“I am too busy” is the most often used dialogues by many of us. However, busyness is not a badge of honour! If you are workaholic, taking a little time out of your busy schedule actually helps in maintaining a healthy working environment and brings more productivity. During the Covid-19 phase in which people are confined working at home, the barrier demarcating workplace and home has gradually vanished. We tend to compromise our lunchtime by having our meals on the desk. Is that investment worth it? No! Lunching at our desk side is not at all a good option. We all know that it can bring a lot of health issues; still, we never take the pain to step out of the room and have our lunch in the dinning space.
Despite being aware of the healthy protocols to work from home, we ignore for the sake our satisfaction and nothing else. Yes! Apart from putting the health at risk, the approach of not taking enough breaks jeopardize your happiness and productivity.
If you are thinking to waver your hard-earned lunch hours and eat meals at your desk, then this article is for you. Here, we have discussed the insight on why eating at the desk may contribute to a host of health consequences.
The reason why eating at the desk could be an irrational decision:
We now know that staying at a desk all day without a meal break may affect both physical and mental states. Here are a few reasons why it is necessary to strictly introduce a healthy break-taking culture during working hours to avoid longer impacts on health.
1. Increases stress levels:
Work-related stress is obvious and common for all of us. It’s necessary to take frequent breaks and lunch time give you that much-needed escape to let your mind reboot and recover faster. So, just pick your lunch box and head out to have some enjoyable time with your friends and colleagues. At home, enjoy the meals with your family and give your mind some positive distraction.
2. Possible exposure to foodborne illness:
Individuals who tend to have food at their desk may get exposed to foodborne illnesses. The reason being improper wiping of the used surfaces like desktop, mouse, and keyboard. Also, the dropped food particles may become the breeding ground for the illness-causing bacteria which multiply faster than your kitchen surface. Yes! This is enough to make you sick. So, don’t hang up sharing your food with millions of microbes surrounding you!
3. Causes sore joints:
Sitting at the desk for long hours without taking a lunch break may result in sore joints. Yes! The continuous staring at your computer screen may bring soreness in your muscles, joints, hips and core muscles. If your workload makes you stick to your desk without a short break, try out a few stretches to keep yourself active all through the day.
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4. Brings brain fog: A good pumping of blood flow and oxygen supply should be in place which can be acquired when you move around. Well! Suspending your break time may deplete your energy levels and can affect your brain, leading to the foggy situation.
5. Reduces productivity:
We all try to do multitasking during office hours which demands attention, focus, planning, and critical thinking. Meal breaks and a short pause from the screens boost positivity, productivity, and lower your stress level. So, distract yourself to renew your energy levels. This makes you better at your work and bolsters overall health!
6. Impairs cognitive performance:
We may require certain levels of brainpower to solve numerous issues that pop up during our office hours. Working for long hours without any break keeps us in a constant triggered state, where we experience a momentary decline in cognitive performance. Juggling over the same problem blocks the inflow of new ideas and consumes a lot of time for things that we actually can do faster by taking a short break. Proper meal on time, away from the desk can improve blood flow, increases the brain’s oxygen levels, and thereby improves the cognitive performance.
7. Risks of lower back pain:
Being sedentary in the same position for long working works without a break may invite stiffness and tension around the spine leading to lower back pain and other serious muscular and posture-related health conditions.
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Now, from the above-listed health conditions, you know why you should never have your meals at your desk. Meal breaks are not the time-consuming period, rather they are the real investment on yourself that keeps you up, sound, and running. So, create a break room to refresh and recharge yourself by prioritizing your work. Just stepping out will help you stay healthy, especially in our modern working habits which is almost sedentary.