It seems like SO many of us eat lunch at our desks. I know some people can't leave for lunch...if you're a teacher, it's probably frowned upon to ditch a room full of kids to grab lunch in the middle of the workday. But even for people who CAN leave for lunch, many of us don't. We just eat our sad little lunch at our desk, under fluorescent light, with annoying coworkers asking for stuff while we eat because they clearly have NO respect for the sanctity of mealtime.
Well, according to the Daily Mail, there are 5 perfectly valid excuses to LEAVE the building for lunch everyday, instead of cramming a stale sandwich in your face at work. Here are the benefits of leaving for lunch:
1. It helps you concentrate. Too much exposure to the same type of stimulus . . . like a computer screen . . . makes your brain get used to what it's seeing. So you're more likely to overlook important details. Even a short break can help.
2. It protects your eyesight. Staring at a screen too long makes you blink less, which can dry your eyes out. And staring at something that close to you all day can cause eye strain. Which is why you're supposed to remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look up from your screen, and stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3. It might help you sleep better. One study found that even just a 15-minute break helps, because your eyes need time away from the blue light your computer screen gives off.
4. It can help you slim down. A study at the University of Colorado found people who eat at their desk have an average waistline that's more than one inch bigger than people who aren't chained to their desk all day.
5. It improves your mood. A study in England found people who take lunch breaks have a 30% lower risk of depression. Partly because you're more likely to go outside and get a little sunlight.
That all sounds pretty legit to me! And this doesn't mean you have to go spend money at a restaurant every day. My husband and I both bring our lunches to work every day because it's WAY less expensive than going out. You can take your lunch to a nearby park, for example. Or, your employer might have some picnic tables outside, and you can eat your lunch there. I definitely think it's important to get out of the building, even if it's just for a few minutes.
There are more benefits, BTW. Read the full article HERE.