Despite the fact that most of us have lunch breaks written into our job contracts and are therefore entitled to them, it's surprising how few people take advantage of them. Although taking a lunch break might be guilt-inducing for people who work in offices that encourage a "working lunch" culture, taking that hour out of your work day to focus on yourself is an important practice that can have positive effects on your physical and mental health. Read on for four reasons that'll convince you to reclaim your lunch hour.
High stress levels can affect your mental health and lead to anxiety and depression. If you simply don't have the time to go for a run or fit in a yoga practice to relieve the stress, stepping away from your triggers — like work — can be just what you need. Taking a lunch break gives you the chance to eat your way to stress-relief and practice a quick feel-good-inducing activities.
Better Blood Circulation
Taking time away from your desk at lunch time requires movement. Stretching isn't just something you do to begin and end a workout; it's important in your everyday life, too. Going for a short walk during your lunch break gives your muscles a good stretch, which improves blood circulation and maintains range of motion in your joints, thereby making our bodies less susceptible to dizzy spells and cramps and helping us avoid injury.
Although you can eat your way to healthy vitamin D levels, taking a break from the artificial light in your office and walking out into the daylight can greatly improve your body's intake. When human skin is exposed to direct sunlight, namely UVB sun-rays (with sunscreen on!), it produces vitamin D. A deficiency in this vitamin can affect you in many ways including anxiety and depression, diabetes, and bone diseases.
You may think sitting down at your desk all day increases your productivity, but in actuality it does the opposite. Taking regular breaks isn't a waste of time; it improves your cognitive function by giving your mind something else to focus on in between stressful or pressurised tasks. Any time out works to deactivate and reactivate your goals which gives you a new sense of purpose and focus when approaching a task.