5 Reasons Never To Eat Lunch At Your Desk Again

Fast Company offers some of the most racy, interesting, diverse content to business executives on the web and I recently enjoyed reading Drake Bauer’s 5 reasons to never eat lunch at your desk again. 

He explains how getting away from your desk and outside stimulates thinking, helps you pay attention to your food, feel better about life and your job, be more productive and provides better balance.  The truth of it is that most of us eat at our desks most days and Drake makes a persuasive case for taking time out.

However, don’t be mistaken into believing this means eating out with clients or friends. Research offers some perspective on this work habit and places into context perhaps how we should be eating out.  The journal PLOS ONE  published a study showing that people who eat out with friends in the middle of the day have more trouble concentrating when they come back to work than those who stayed put for lunch.


Lunch alone or Snacking at work desk

Lunch at your desk alone or shared with friends?

The researchers took a group of 32 women and had half share a meal with friends at a nearby restaurant, while the other half ate lunch alone at their desks. After the meals, the researchers had them perform a series of simple tasks, like matching shapes to buttons and recognising faces, to test their brains’ processing post-munching. Those who had gone out to eat showed reduced control over their cognitive functions.

The author of the study Werner Sommer, PhD, a professor of psychology at Humboldt-University at Berlin says that the chatter, music, movement, and even colours of eating at a restaurant are distracting: “The office meal keeps you on your toes a bit while the restaurant meal makes you more indifferent against your own errors—you don’t care so much about your errors after the restaurant. You’re in a liberal mood.”

Dr. Sommer’s advice is , “if you have a creative task for the day, a social lunch break outdoors can help refresh your mind and generate new ideas. But if you need to be focused and exact, lunching alone could keep you productive.”

So now we know that a rowdy lunch could distract us. There’s always a time and a place for that, but in our regular routine, let’s defer to the idea of getting away from our desks and finding a quiet space  outside, in a park,



or a quieter area in the building somewhere. But, please let’s get away from those desks!

Here’s that Fast Company link for Drake’s full story.