Encourage a Healthy Lunch Break and Increase Your Workplace Productivity

BlogBusiness EvolutionHR AdviceInspiration Posted: Sunday 19th November 2017 by

According to a BUPA study conducted in 2016, it was revealed that less than one in three workers take a proper lunch break, and more than a quarter never takes a lunch break at all during their working day.

The effects of not taking a proper and healthy lunch break can take its toll on your workforce and be devasting to their health. Not taking a lunch break can cause:

– Overeating and weight gain, with workers opting to ‘graze’ on several snacks at their desks during the day rather than stopping for lunch
– Lack of vitamin D by never seeing daylight once inside the office; vitamin D helps to regulate mood
– Poor posture and musculoskeletal disorders by sitting in the same position all day
– Negative effects on mental health through lack of human interaction
– Eye strain through too much screen time

By shaking up your company culture and encouraging all of your staff, including your managing director, to take a proper lunch break, your workplace productivity, efficiency, team spirit and co-worker fitness levels will dramatically improve and have a positive effect on your bottom line.

Here are five things you can do to encourage your staff to not only take a lunch break but do something healthy that will positively benefit everyone in your business:

Lay on free fruit and veg  

How often have you watched one of your team ‘pop out to McDonald’s’, or open bags of crisps and sweets at their desks? A trip to the local greengrocer (or supermarket) once or twice a week to stock up on fruits and vegetables for the staffroom fridge will always be welcomed. Encourage your staff to help themselves and watch those bags of crisps and greasy burgers start to disappear from the office.

Encourage mindfulness

Smartphone apps such as Headspace, Calm, or The Mindfulness App, offer short ten-minute bursts of meditation that are completely manageable even with the most hectic of schedules. Setting up a quiet, comfortable place for staff to plug in their headphones and take ten minutes for mindfulness during the day can greatly increase employee productivity, resilience and thought leadership.

Wii Fit or Xbox

There is nothing like a little healthy competition amongst colleagues. Installing an Xbox with Kinect, or a Wii Fit, and encouraging a light-hearted game of tennis or riding the rapids during a lunch break, will not only help to keep your employees fit and healthy but will also bring them together and support their relationship building skills. For the less active members of your team, then break out a chess board!

Create a Yoga room  

Although not practical for every office, if you have the resources, setting aside some space for a Yoga room and bringing in a qualified instructor to lead classes twice a week will encourage your employees to build their strength and stretch out their headaches and bad posture. It is estimated that workers who spend just 30 minutes a day exercising will increase their performance by an average of 15%, and companies who incorporate 2.5 hours of exercise into the working week, per employee, will dramatically reduce absence rates.

Leave the desk and eat

If all else fails, or your business simply doesn’t have the space and resources for in-house Yoga or active video games, then simply ask your staff to leave their desk and focus on nothing but eating a healthy and nutritious lunch. By leaving their workspace and not having the distractions of phones and emails, employees will feel more rested and will return to their workstations with a clearer mind ready for an afternoon of productive work.

For support with matters of employee engagement, or advice on how to reduce your absence rates, get in touch with a member of our expert HR team.


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