The answer is: very important.
lunch break is important for physical and mental health," says
psychologist Frank J. Sileo, executive director for The Center for Psychological
Enhancement in Ridgewood, N.J. "Studies have shown that taking a lunch
break can reduce stress. Time for relaxation away from work has also been
correlated with heightened productivity and creativity."
to a recent survey by OfficeTeam, a global staffing service, nearly half (48%)
of U.S. workers said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less.
However, experts say that lunch breaks should ideally be at least 30 to 45
minutes—and strongly advise spending that time away from your desk.
eating at a desk, it does not really constitute a real break from work and may
involve doing a host of work-related tasks such as answering the phone and
responding to emails while eating," says
Sileo. "Eating at your desk may also lead to overeating, because when you
are working at your desk you may not pay attention to what and how much you are
eating, beneficial activities for workers to enjoy during a lunch break include
taking a walk, working out at the gym or going to a quiet room to practice yoga
or meditation, says stress and mindful living consultant Kathleen Hall, founder
and CEO of The Mindful Living
Network and The Stress Institute.
time is filled, it's best to keep lunch breaks under an hour. "Too long a
lunch can be counterproductive since it will take too much time to get back to
focusing on the work at hand," Salerno, M.D.,
director of The Salerno Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City, says.
employees are not able to take lunch or dinner breaks during busy times,
consider ordering food for them to the office to make the workday smoother. "If
the team is experiencing an especially hectic period, having lunch or dinner
brought in may be a nice gesture," says Robert Hosking, executive director
of OfficeTeam. "People may not feel like they have time to leave the
office, but management is making it easier for them to take a break to
bottom line: Fight the pressures of the day-to-day and give your employee’s minds
and bodies the much-needed reprieve from the hectic workday. You'll likely find
that their performance and overall happiness will improve!