Highlight on Healthy Working

Are you taking a full lunch hour?

In our survey last quarter we asked our readers for a shoal of hands… who takes a full lunch hour, and how often? Almost 60% of you said they took a full hour most days, which earns you a proper high five as a recent survey by CIPD suggested only around 30% were taking a full hour each day.

If you are in the 60%, the chances are you are up to speed on the benefits of taking a full hour, so for those of you still struggling to get away from your desk, here are a couple of reasons to help get you out of your seat.

1. Taking a break, and even fitting in a short nap of no more than 20 minutes is good for us. Down time, where our brain is relaxing - for example during a nap, or taking a walk in a quiet park - helps to clear out the holding area of any information picked up that morning. A lot will get tossed but the important stuff will be moved to long term memory so with this little mini clear out, your memory should improve in the afternoon.

2. This brain break also means we are more productive. So if you think you don’t have time to take a break at lunch - think again, that break will actually mean you work better in the afternoon (read quicker). Working through lunch means we get more and more sluggish and tasks that we should whizz through will tend to take longer, therefore negating any time you may have saved.

3. For those of you able to fit in a bit of exercise - there are lots of reasons to get up and stretch it out from the obvious long term physical benefits to the effect on our mental health. In particular a spot of exercise (which can be as little as just getting up and walking around the block) can have a major impact on our mood, self-esteem and general confidence. In fact a study showed that exercising can make you feel better about your body, even when you don’t see any physical changes - we salute that!