Workplace Wellbeing: Tip Number 4 – Implement a “No eating at your desk” policy

Why do we eat poorly and not exercise enough? Nutrition and physical exercise are at the top of most people’s health plans. While Physical Health is only a part of your overall, or holistic health, it is the easiest to achieve. So why do we get it so wrong? The answer is that it’s easy to do badly! Take Away food is easy because we don’t have to spend time preparing it. Not exercising is easy because it takes energy and effort to just get out of your chair. So what’s the solution?

Tip Number 4. Implement a “No eating at your desk” policy

When people are overwhelmed, overworked, or getting behind with projects, the solution is to work longer and harder and often without breaks. Stopping work when there is work to be done is counter intuitive to the task. Stopping work to eat however is a legitimate reason to do so. Removing yourself from your desk to do it is even better. Here are 5 reasons why you should implement a policy to “not eat at your desk”:

  1. People are forced to have a break. If you look at any sport there is a break. Nobody can undergo constant physical activity without a time-out. Treat your work as an extreme sport. High on energy and effort, but with breaks. Adopt the habit of “Work for 50 (minutes) and walk for 10.” You will find that your output increases especially in the latter part of your day when your energy is waning.
  2. You have to move. Exercise is merely moving the body. Getting out of your chair is exercise. So is walking to the lunchroom for a coffee or a bite to eat. Remember that motion creates emotion. If you move the body then it feels good.
  3. It allows you to focus more on the food. When you’re eating focus on nothing else but the food and the eating process. The food should be chewed slowly and for twenty minutes. If you finish eating in less than twenty minutes then you’ve eaten too fast. After twenty minutes of eating you will feel full. Stop then whether you have eaten everything or not.
  4. You then walk back to your desk. Walking helps digestion. As soon as you’ve finished eating go for a walk. If you don’t have time to do so then the process of walking back to your desk will be better than nothing. Don’t fall into the trap of eating and walking at the same time. You’re not achieving point 3 when you do this.
  5. You will socialize with others. While you’re in the lunchroom there is every chance that someone else will be there also. Communicating and establishing relationships is a part of our Social Health so this is a nice side effect of not eating at your desk.

About the Author

TEC Speaker Merv NealMerv is an ex TEC member and has been a TEC speaker since 2010. As a Director of Holistic Services Group, he specializes in assisting businesses of all types and sizes to create and then implement their Workplace Wellbeing programs. For more information you can contact Merv on 0408 552269