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Why taking a break at lunch is so important

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Do you take time to get away from your desk at lunchtime? Studies show that more office workers are spending long stretches of time —including their lunch hours — at their desks.

Yet research shows that not leaving your work space and wolfing down a sandwich at your desk each day can have some serious long-term negative effects on your health. Getting away from your cubicle or office during the lunch hour can help you in a number of ways. Here are five reasons why taking a lunch break is so important:

1. Better health: Research shows that for better health, office workers should get up and leave their desks for at least two minutes each hour and if possible, take a longer lunch break away from their work station each day. Even better, get some fresh air.

2. Less stress: A recent study suggests that walking at lunch for as little as 30 minutes a day, three times a week can help you better handle on-the-job stress.

3. Better posture: Sitting in one position in front of a computer puts strain on your spine and muscles. Leaving the office at lunch can help you stretch your spine and muscles.

4. Increased productivity: Research shows that taking a lunch break gives your brain a chance to switch off and regroup and avoid the foggy thinking, tiredness and diminished productivity that can make afternoons drag.

5. Better concentration: By taking a walk at lunch with a friend or co-worker, you may find yourself better able to tackle the rest of your day. Walking and talking is a great anti-stress combination, research suggests. Socializing at lunch as opposed to staying in a cubicle with your computer screen is a ‘mind scrub’ that can help you be happier and more productive.

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