Five reasons why taking a lunch break is so important

37779151_MTime is a precious commodity. That’s why you almost feel guilty if you leave your work space and go to lunch. Who has the time for that, anyway?

Well, you do. And if not, you should make some. According to a wide range of studies, 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. Likewise, 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 desk 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.