The value of a lunch break

Photo credit - Henrique Felix via

Photo credit – Henrique Felix via

Do you take a break at lunch? Or, do you stay at your desk and have a “bun on the run” while doing work? If you do, you may like to rethink that!

The value of a lunch break
A lunch break is an opportunity to leave work and have a meal, away from your work station. It is more than that though. It is an opportunity to change your focus, to be social with co-workers or friends, and to eat something (hopefully nourishing).

Lunch break benefits
We know that your brain needs a break from thinking. By having a change of activity, doing something completely different at lunch time you allow your brain to process what you have been asking of it. You can return to your work refreshed and often with newfound ideas/creativity.

Having a break to eat something nourishing is important for the brain too. Conscious thought uses up a lot of energy, so replenishing that is important. If you are able to focus on eating your lunch as an activity on its own, it presents an opportunity for some moments of mindfulness. In those moments, you can still your mind – give it a break – and a single focus.

Add in a walk or some exercise for extra benefit. We know from research into neuroscience and learning, that our brain sorts things out while we are exercising. So take a short walk at lunch – perhaps do a lap of the block? Take in some different air? Stroll through a park? Then return to work and notice the difference!

Skipping lunch is false economy
There are many who would suggest that skipping lunch to “work through” offers a false economy. A break does everyone good. It refreshes, re-energies and re-enthuses you for the task at hand. Taking lunch does not have to take a long time. But having a change of scene – be it a park, the work lunch room or a nearby cafe – has clear benefits that you will only fully appreciate when you try it. You will be more effective after a break.

The time you invest in a lunch break is worth more effective post-lunch work than working through non-stop offers. Surely generations of Europeans who have stopped for lunch (closed businesses and shops) for years can’t be wrong? There is only one way to know for sure. Try it out. Let me know how you go.

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