Every day around two thirds of office workers eat lunch at their desks. But even if you think you’re eating healthily there are other reasons to stop and take a proper break. Your health is more important than a deadline!
It is bad for your digestive system
When you eat at your desk while working, you are concentrating on your work more than your food. Eating at your desk causes the blood supply to divert from your digestive system to your brain and heart. Your body needs to be relaxed when you eat so that it can release the right hormones and enzymes needed for good digestion. Eating at your desk is more likely to cause digestive problems like bloating, indigestion and heart burn.
It affects your posture
Sitting for long hours at your desk takes a toll on your shoulders, back, neck and legs. Taking a lunch break gives you a reason to move away from your desk for a while. This helps the blood to circulate better, thus providing more energy and oxygen to your tissues and organs. So whether it’s your lunch break or a causal walk, make sure you move about from your seat several times during the day.
You end up eating mindlessly
When you eat at your desk, you divert your concentration from your food to your work. Sometimes you’re so involved in your work, you don’t realise when you finish up your food. Such lack of attention leads to mindless eating. Mindless eating can often lead to overeating.
Affects your productivity
When you step away from your desk during lunch time, it gives your brain a break. This helps refresh your brain and reduces fatigue. Allowing your body to move around also boosts the oxygen supply to your body and brain. This helps you stay alert and active, thus improving productivity.
Your desk is unhygienic
Researchers claim that an average desk harbours 400 times more bacteria than an average toilet seat. Think about it, how many times do you actually clean your desk or your keyboard with a cleaning solution? When you eat at your desk, you not only add to the germs, you also end up exposing your food to this germ-ridden environment.
Here are some of my favourite lunch recipes:
Avocado & Hummus Pitta
Wholemeal pitta pocket filled with 2 tbsp hummus, half a sliced avocado, half a grated carrot and a handful of rocket or watercress.
Hummus – good source of protein and fibre that can help curb appetite and reduce cravings for sugary snacks
Avocado – rich source of vitamin E a powerful antioxidant and monounsaturated fat that keeps cells healthy
Beetroot, apple and chestnut soup
Beetroot – provides phytoestogens (substances that mimic body oestrogen) and helps maintain the normal balance of these hormones in the body.
Chicken, butter bean and walnut salad
- Place 50g of chopped green beans and 2 tbsp of tinned butter beans into a pan of boiling water and cook for 5 mins, drain and mix with 3 handfuls of mixed leaves.
- Add 100g of cooked chicken pieces and 2 tbsp of chopped walnuts and make a dressing by combining 1 tsp each of wholegrain mustard, honey, white wine vinegar and rapeseed oil and mix in 1 tsp of hemp seeds.
Butterbeans – including beans in the diet helps to reduce the amount of insulin needed after a eating. Insulin is released to regulate blood sugar levels, but when too much is produced, mood and energy levels can be negatively affected. The fibre, protein and complex carbs in beans reduces the insulin response.
Walnuts – rich source of essential fatty acids needed for the production of hormones and anti-inflammatory substances.