The Irish summer is well and truly here. The scent of charcoal is in the air, longer evenings and warmer weather will provide the perfect excuse to get out of the house and do something in the evenings.
However, most of us are admiring this rare and beautiful phenomenon called “the sun” through the office window. Lets not wait until the evening time to get out and enjoy the great Irish summer. Let’s take the time to consider how we can capitalise on this during our work day, and I say “what better way than the humble lunch break”!
Most of us are happy to rush through our lunch or indeed skip lunch altogether. Having a sandwich at our desk or grabbing a quick bite in between e-mails maybe having a more negative affect on our well being, than you think.
Lets not forget those who bring the office work with them on their lunch breaks. With the never ending developments in technology, hand held electronic devices and unlimited access to social media and professional networks, we have to ask ourselves “are we ever really stepping away from the office”? Check out 5 good reasons to step away from the desk at lunch time:
The sun, in moderation, can heal all kinds of illnesses, and bring about radiant health. However, we live in a modern world that is bombarded with paranoid messages about how dangerous the sun is. Sun rays stimulate the body to produce Vitamin D and encourage the production of serotonin (a hormone that plays an important part in the regulation of mood) and makes you less cranky. Something, I’m sure, your colleagues will appreciate. The sun also has other benefits such as bone health, supports the immune system, protects against dementia and brain aging etc.
Eating whilst continuing to check emails, etc. can lead to ‘mindless eating’, which can cause people to overeat and/or eat the wrong foods, therefore, gaining weight. Avoid buying your lunch everyday. The food we make at home is always going to be healthier than the meals available from the corner shop or local café. It only takes a couple of minutes to prepare a healthy lunch at home.
Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress – so taking a break in the middle of the day is a great way to deal with looming deadlines and difficult co-workers. Again when we exercise, our brains produce more serotonin, this super chemical that helps to relieve depression and reduce stress. A much better solution than having a melt down in the office toilet cubicle.
Sometimes a situation crops up early in the workday that needs a great deal of brain power to solve. When this happens, the best solution is to clear your head and return to work refreshed. Getting some exercise at lunch increases our blood flow and our oxygen levels are increased, the brain creates new synapses – or connections – which improves our cognitive performance. This in turn helps us solve tricky problems at work.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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