France used to have a law that forbade employees from eating lunch at their desks. Leaving the office and taking an actual break at lunchtime was considered to be very important for employees’ health and well-being. And there does seem to be some truth to that.

According to author Anna Rahmanan, sitting in front of a computer screen all day (and not taking breaks) can be detrimental. It can cause an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone. It can cause a decrease in your ability to focus. And ultimately, it can result in decreased productivity. So even though you’re not leaving your desk, you may actually get less done – not more.

In the U.S., it’s not uncommon to eat lunch in front of the computer, while scrolling through emails or doing other work-related tasks. And now that many people are working from home, this is more common than ever. When you’re working from home, the division between your work life and home life can start to get blurry. It sometimes starts to feel like you’re always on the clock, so it seems logical to work and eat lunch at the same time.

But Rahmanan cautions against this. If at all possible, you should try to take a 30-minute lunch break away from your work and your computer. After preparing your food, you should eat in a room other than the one you work in, put on some music, pull out a good book, and relax. Or, even better, eat outside and get a little fresh air. Make your lunch an event that you look forward to. It will help to reduce your level of stress, boost your energy, and make you more effective and productive for the rest of the day.

Rahmanan, A. (2021, March 23). Why you should never eat lunch at your desk (especially at home).HuffPost. Retrieved from: