Health Advocate Blog

Why you shouldn’t eat lunch at your desk

If you’re health-minded, eating lunch at your desk isn’t the greatest idea—especially if you aren’t taking time to actually take your lunch break. Consider these reasons why you shouldn’t eat at your desk.

  • The cleanliness factor. How often do you clean and disinfect your desk? If it isn’t something you do often, you may want to reconsider eating your lunch there. Additionally, your mouse, keyboard and office phone may be full of hard-to-clean germs and bacteria, especially if these devices have previously belonged to others. Eating lunch at your desk daily will also add to your germ and crumb collection, even if you are a neat eater.
  • You may find yourself multitasking—and this may cause you to lose focus on your work. Although you may feel more productive multitasking, in reality, doing more than one thing at once causes the quality of your work to suffer as well as your effectiveness.
  • You may end up mindlessly eating and end up overeating. If you’re at your desk, checking emails, answering phone calls and even doing simple tasks that interrupt you from concentrating on eating, you can miss important hunger cues that would normally tell you when your stomach is full. As a result, you may eat more than you intended to, which can contribute to weight gain.
  • It keeps you sedentary. Consider the amount of time you spend seated. If the extent of your walking throughout the day includes walking to the occasional meeting, restroom trips, stopping by the work fridge and heating up your lunch, you may want to consider a change of scenery during your lunch break so you can get up and stretch your legs more.
  • Not taking an adequate break from your work can cause burnout. You need the time to step away and focus on something other than work. Getting up from your desk to eat helps to get your creativity going, refresh your eyes and your mind, provides opportunities to socialize and interact with your coworkers, may help you feel better about your work and productivity levels, and the best part—actually getting to savor and enjoy your lunch.

On a final note, your coworkers may not be happy with your choice of lunch. The smells and sounds of you enjoying your lunch may not be appealing to others, and could be perceived as bothersome. If you do choose to each lunch at your desk, consider what you’re bringing and how it could possibly disrupt your neighbors. If you don’t think your cube-mate would enjoy the smell of leftovers from last night’s salmon dinner, it’s best to be enjoyed away from your desk.

For Health Advocate members

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the wellness coaching component of our Wellness Program, contact a Wellness Coach today to learn more great tips to keep you healthy!