One-third of workers likely to skip lunch breaks
(Source: Aviva Health of the Workplace report)
Although employees and bosses recognise the value of taking a lunch break for well-being, longer hours and workplace pressures are stopping staff from taking the breaks they need.
Workers’ eating habits are suffering due to stress, according to a survey of 2,000 employers and employees in the UK:
- Nearly one-third (30%) say they are unlikely to take a lunch break (compared to 37% in 2009)
- One-quarter will only take a lunch break if they feel their workload allows it
- 13% skip lunch altogether
These figures are despite 43% of workers being encouraged to take a lunch break by employers.
Could limited food options in the workplace be to blame? Partly—because although 45% of employers offer food in the workplace, over one-third of these (38%) offer unhealthy options.
Dr. Doug Wright, head of clinical development, Aviva UK Health says: “It’s well documented that eating more healthily can improve general well-being and life expectancy, so there are countless benefits to adopting this approach in the workplace. It’s also important for people to take a break from their desks where possible as this can help improve both morale and efficiency for employees.
“Employers can help by offering healthy food options to support and encourage their staff to eat well, and by removing those barriers that still exist to taking a proper lunch break. Employees too need to break the habit of skipping lunch or eating at their desks. A cultural shift in the workplace towards proper lunch breaks will improve overall employee well-being as well as productivity.”
Too much stress isn’t good for employees or the organization as a whole, and can cause both health and eating well to suffer.
Do you take a break for lunch? When was the last time you went for a walk during your lunch break? We’d love your thoughts.
Online guide to healthy lunches