Research has found that only 17% of British workers are taking a full hour for their lunch break and those that don’t could be looking at health and productivity impacts.
The research, carried out on behalf of Mastercard by Ipsos MORI, found that the average lunch break is now just 28 minutes and 66% of people do not leave their workplace to eat.
The British Chiropractic Association has some great advice for desk hoggers looking to maximise their lunchbreaks.
– Get off your bus/train/tube a stop earlier and walk if possible.
– Don’t sit at your desk or stand at your workstation for more than 30-40 minutes; stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
– Set lunchtime goals such as step monitor or specific walking targets to encourage you to get away and take a proper break.
– Look for small opportunities to exercise during the day; use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.
– Set up your desk and chair at work to make it as optimal for you and your back as possible. Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height. Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
– Drink Up! – Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee; it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated.
The British Chiropractic Association has some simple stretches and exercises that can help strengthen posture. You can also get lots of advice and information about promoting great posture here.