PAUSE -12.05- Step Away From Your Desk
REFLECTION: “I’ll just eat lunch at my desk, save a bit of time, save a little money, and catch up on my email.” Have you ever said that to yourself or heard that from someone else?
A 2011 survey by the American Dietetic Association found that 62% of workers eat lunch at their desks and 50% snack there through the day. In the world of ‘nose to grindstone’ this might seem to be a positive approach. But, really – not so much!
Foregoing a lunch break cheats us of a chance to rest our brains and return to our problems with fresh minds and new perspectives. Staying stuck behind the keyboard, prevents social interaction that could lift our spirits and lighten our load. Eating while working means we may be less aware of how much goes in our mouths, making it way too easy to overindulge. And, more sitting, is of course, more sitting! Recent studies emphasize the health risks of spending too much of our day chair bound and not enough of our day moving around.
Still, if you need any more evidence to build a case that would have you pushing away from your desk for lunch, this just might do it. The same survey noted above found that only 36 percent of respondents clean their work areas—desktop, keyboard, mouse—weekly and 64 percent do so only once a month or less. Reading this, I realized I’m as guilty as anyone and had to stop and clean my keyboard!
As a consequence of this lackadaisical approach to desktop hygiene, another study reports that the average desktop has 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more than the average toilet seat. Yikes & yuck! Plopping down your lunch in that kind of environment – moving back and forth from cheese sandwich to keyboard clicking – cannot be good for anybody’s health.
ACTION: Do yourself a favor – or three or four – today:
Step away from your desk!
Choose someplace else to lunch!
Invite a friend or colleague to join you!
Clean your desk and keyboard before you sit back down to work!
QUOTES OF THE WEEK: Three ‘lunchy’ comments compliments of A.A. Milne via Winnie The Pooh:
“When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.”
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like, “What about lunch?””
“When having a smackerel of something with a friend, don’t eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out.”
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: A cartoon chuckle – Office BBQ.
READERS WRITE: Thanks to all the generous Pause readers out there who have to date nominated 133 people for the ’29 Days – 29 Gifts’ offer that continues until the end of February. If you missed the announcement last week, check this link for details on how to enter the names of your nominees in the daily draw.
Seven copies of Press Pause…Think Again have been awarded so far and are on their way to recipients from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Guelph, Ontario to Lethbridge, Alberta. Who would be a deserving recipient in your world?
Tags: burnout, health, overload, overwhelm, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, productivity, Saskatoon, speaker, stress, time, time out, wellness, workload