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Why are lunch breaks an important part of your day?

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Why are lunch breaks an important part of your day?

In a survey of 1,700 workers conducted by the National Charity Partnership, it was discovered that less than one third of UK workers take a proper lunch break away from their desk. The remaining 70% of workers spent time at their desks working (24%) or browsing the internet (46%).

The survey also found that it was women who were least likely to take a proper lunchbreak, with only 15% taking a break outside of the office compared to 35% of men.

The main reasons cited for skipping a break included, ‘having too much work’, ‘stress levels’, ‘workplace culture’ and ‘prefer the internet to the outdoors’. Here, dinner sets retailer Oldrids & Downtown, present their research on why lunchbreaks are important and how to introduce better lunchbreak habits at work.

What does your employer expect?

There are legal entitlements regarding employers and lunch breaks. Workers over the age of 18 are entitled to rest breaks (e.g lunch breaks), daily rest (11 hours between working days) and weekly breaks (either 24 hours uninterrupted break each week or 48 hours uninterrupted work each fortnight).

During a working day of 6 hours or longer, employers must supply workers with one 20-minute break and employees should be able to take breaks in the middle of the day and take their lunch away from the workstation.

The importance of a lunchbreak

It was reported that 90% of workers who took a proper lunch break felt ‘happier and more positive’ as a result. The reasons for this could be:

You can get things done. Taking a proper lunch will allow you to catch up on life administration or run some errands, giving you more time in the evening to relax.

You can take in something tasty. Your lunch break gives you a brilliant opportunity to take in essential nutrients to keep you going for the rest of the day.

You can sneak in some exercise. People with an hour-long lunch have time on their side to sneak in a lunchtime workout during their lunch, but even with the minimum 20 mins you can take a stroll, up your step count and have some fresh air.

Lunchbreaks are important to employers too

Improving overall well-being at work is beneficial to the business as it can decrease work-related stress – an issue that leads to almost 10 million lost working days a year.

It is understood that lunchbreaks can improve the productivity of workers too. This is strengthened further when accompanied by a nutritious lunch which will give workers the right nutrients and fuel for the rest of the day.

How can employers help?

There are a variety of things that can be done by employers to encourage staff to take a lunch break, enjoy their working day and increase their productivity levels…

  • Lead by example. If your employees see you working through lunch, they may feel like this is expected of them too.
  • Create a workplace environment that encourages employees to take breaks
  • Designate a space in your workplace – such as a kitchen or dining room – that employees can go to get away from their desks
  • Supply healthy snacks to encourage a culture of healthy eating to accompany a healthier attitude to taking breaks.
  • Provide distractions from phones and screens. If you have room in your designated break space, include light reading materials (magazines and newspapers) and other forms of entertainment, so workers can relax free from screens in a dedicated environment.
  • Encourage additional breaks. There are stressful moments in everyone’s jobs, so make it clear to employees that if they need to take an extra break for some fresh air, they can – and that their lunchbreak will be unaffected.

Sources

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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