It is the one thing at work that you think you’re succeeding at the most. Turns out, you could be underutilizing this time more than any other point of your day. What is it? Lunch.

Lunch isn’t the most important meal of the day. It can be inconvenient because it’s smack-dab in the middle of your workday and workload. But it is a critical aspect of your day-to-day life.

You are not alone in your low-view of the noon meal. Research has found that a huge percentage of Americans don’t take a lunch break or simply snack at their desk.

No matter how many good reasons you have to skip out on this break, or squeeze in your sandwich while replying to a work-related email at your computer, the experts have spoken. It’s healthier physically, mentally and emotionally to take a break.

Let’s talk about lunch.

It’s Not Just About Nutrition

The energy you get from the simple act of eating goes beyond what you’re putting into your body. Standing and moving to a new location gets your blood flowing and helps to naturally energize your body. The intake of nutrients combined with the extra movement also helps you to think more clearly and positively.

When you take advantage of this built-in break, your body will feel healthier, your mind will be clearer and you will be able to function at your job better.

Cheating Doesn’t Count

Thought you could get around this, didn’t you? Well, eating at your desk isn’t going to cut it, not even if you shift around on your seat to “get the blood flowing”. When conscious of what you’re eating, it signals the brain that you’re full.

When your focus is on your work, enjoyment of your food and the contentment of being full will be lost to you. Which may lead to buying or bringing along snacks to work that are high in sugars and low in health benefits. Eventually, this snacking will lead to unhealthy weight gain.

So, What Can You Do?

Take advantage of your lunch break and let others know what you intend to do. The workplace culture tends towards not taking a break. If this is an issue with your supervisors, talk about getting the break you need and of the productivity benefits for them.

Schedule your lunch break into your daily to-do list. Set an alarm and do take advantage of this built-in productivity booster. Both you and your employer will be glad you did.

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