Tutkimustulokset paljastavat: selkeä lounastauko lisää työtehoa

Lunch break improves work efficiency

Having a lunch break is definitely worth it! A recent study shows that regular lunch breaks improve wellbeing at work and affect greatly work efficiency. The best way is to have lunch outside the workplace and this way let go of the work thoughts for a moment.

Delicious and healthy lunch is a good way to recover from work every day. At the same time it gives energy for the body and rest for the brain. For example, a discussion with colleagues in the middle of the day gives your brain a little break from work.

A research group from the University of Tampere, which concentrates on studying wellbeing at work, has discovered that lunch break helps employees to refresh and recover – especially when the break is long enough. It was found in the research that having a lunch break 4-5 times a week and having it outside the workplace affects positively work efficiency.

Jaana Laitinen, docent from Finnish institute of occupational health, is on the same line with the research.

“It’s not a good idea to skip a lunch break, because it gives you a break from work. It refreshes your mind and makes it easier to concentrate. Eating healthy and enough is naturally the most important thing, so that the brain and body will get the energy it needs.”

The length of a lunch break matters

Recovery from a busy work schedule and especially from knowledge work requires more clear breaks. An ideal break is entirely disconnected to work requirements and it evokes positive feelings. For this very reason lunch breaks are important.

“It is important that the lunch break is long enough, so that it is possible to eat at leisure and reach the sense of fullness. If you replace proper meals with nibbling snacks during the work day, it is likely that you will eat more than you would actually need at home. Then you will not have the energy for your hobbies” says Laitinen.

Work efficiency improves, when you can decide your lunch time yourself

Research results show that it is important that one can decide where to eat. When employees have the chance to affect their lunch breaks, the recovery is more efficient and the influences can be seen also in the long run.

Organization culture should support lunch breaks. Employer can support employees’ wellbeing and the possibility for a proper lunch by offering them lunch benefit. Lunch breaks have valuable side-effects.

”Meeting your colleagues and eating together are important things. At lunch you can also chat about work related issues, because unofficial flow of information is important. Also, getting to know your colleagues makes the work run smoother.” Laitinen points out.

Forget your work for a moment – refresh yourself for years

Good food, better mood – a Finnish saying still holds on. A lunch break, which helps you to recover, reduces exhaustion in the long run.

The research of University of Tampere has also observed the long term exhaustion at the workplace and the ways to prevent it. In the interviews conducted by the researchers it was revealed that the positive effects of a lunch break were seen even after a year. Insidious work exhaustion can’t surprise so easily, when the employees hold on to their lunch breaks. Then the whole body feels well.

”When you have a proper break and you move at the same time, your blood starts to flow and your metabolism becomes more effective in your brain as well as in the other parts of your body. Having a lunch during the work day is a way to improve your health at work!” Laitinen reminds.

 

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