Why lunch at your desk may pack on the pounds
Workers who lunch at their desks may consume more calories than those who dine out, a new poll suggests. (Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com)
Published Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:42PM EST
One reason to take a real lunch break: a new poll finds that people who regularly eat at their desks consume more calories and snacks than those who dine out.
According to a poll from Forza Supplements, more than a third of workers who lunched "al desko" ate more than 1,200 calories during a typical working day, The Daily Mail reports. Workers who sat in front of their computers during lunch were more likely to eat fattening foods, down caloric coffee drinks, and grab snacks from the office vending machine later in the afternoon, the findings showed.
"The whole way we work is changing so fast," Forza Supplement managing director Lee Smith told The Daily Mail. "Gone are the days when we would go out for lunch and socialise with workmates."
"More of us are office-bound and slaves to our computers. Unfortunately that is very bad news for diets because we haven't got the time to seek out healthier, less calorific foods."
"People are giving themselves these treats as rewards when they do something well at work or to break up the daily routine."
While the report didn't reveal the number of participants in the poll, it did offer some caloric insights on popular at-desk meals, not including chips, sodas, and desserts:
Pret A Manger Swedish Meatball Hot Wrap - 674 calories, 17.6g of saturated fat
Burger King's Crispy Chicken Apple and Cranberry Fresh Salad Wrap - 490 calories, 6g of saturated fat
Caffe Nero BLT Sandwich - 471 calories, 12.6g of saturated fat
Subway's Spicy Italian Sub - 471 calories, 10.6g of saturated fat
If you still enjoy at-desk lunching, or have little choice in the matter, try to venture out for a healthful take-away meal or bring something from home, experts say. Plus the Mayo Clinic advises taking a break by organizing a walking group with your colleagues to get the blood flowing.
Here's another incentive: A new study in the Academy of Management Journal also found that employees who worked through lunch tended to be more burned out and less productive than workers who did relaxing activities during their lunch break.