I Took My Full Lunch Break Every Day For A Week — And You Can, Too

This story is part of a 10-piece series for which HuffPost staffers agreed to experiment with improving their health and decreasing their stress on the job. It’s also part of our month-long “Work Well” initiative focusing on thriving in the workplace.

I usually eat a hasty lunch at my work desk every day. I voluntarily forgo my midday break — usually the only opportunity I have to walk around outside and see the sun — to respond to emails with one hand while gripping a burrito with the other.

I’m not alone. Sixty-five percent of Americans eat lunch at a desk or skip the meal altogether, according to a survey. There’s mounting scientific evidence that this isn’t smart. Not utilizing your proper lunch break — that is, one spent away from your desk — actually decreases productivity and creativity and can hinder your sense of self-worth.

And so, I am challenging myself to have lunch away from my desk for one week to see what this simple, yet often overlooked, lunch break business is all about.

Turns out, it’s awesome.


  1. Have a proper meal away from my desk and laptop to boost productivity.

  2. Go for a walk to reduce stress and improve mood.

  3. Visit a new environment — ideally with some green space — to increase creativity.

  4. Avoid work talk if possible, as this is intended to be a break from work.


While I understood the benefits of taking a break, I thought it might be emotionally difficult to peel myself away from my desk and break the bad habit of sitting there for such long periods of time. I anticipated feeling guilty for leaving my fellow desk-lunch eaters to recharge outside the office. But I also predicted loving —> Read More