America's lunch break is fading away

Don Ames
September 14, 2018 - 8:41 am

A new study finds 50 percent of U.S. workers don't take a full lunch break.

Half the workers surveyed said it's rare or unrealistic for them to take a proper lunch break away from their work. 

UNO Business Professor, Dr. Mark Rosa, says that might explain why America’s modern office workers are now more likely to eat at their desk more often than any other location. 

"Even though they'd be putting some substance in their mouth, they're having meetings or speaking to colleagues or trying to work out a problem, where they're getting some nourishment, but they're really working through that lunch period." 

Rosa says skipping lunch may be by choice rather than necessity, as a matter of convenience.

"Some people would come in a little bit later. And then, in consequence, work through lunch because they're dropping their kid off at day care or they're dropping their kid off at school."  

Rosa admits some employees skip lunch because they have too much on their plate.
"I guess there is some of that out there, it would be silly to assume there is not. But I think that's more rare than commonplace where someone has to work through lunch in order to get their job finished. I guess that exists, but I think that's in the minority." 

Still, the majority of people surveyed say leaving work behind to eat is unrealistic because of intense workloads and pressure to perform. 

Others feel judged by their boss for taking a lunch break. And, some wear their busyness as a badge of honor, and like to be seen as the person working through lunch. 

Experts say not stopping to eat can actually be good for some people, driving energy into their work and helping them stay focused. But it's not that way for everyone.

On the negative side, it can lead to burnout. You might perform better, but go home at the end of the day depleted.

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