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3 Reasons to Take a Real Lunch Break

Think you're too busy to take a lunch break? You're in good company. One study found that 62 percent of us usually eat lunch at our desks. We might look more productive, but we're actually costing ourselves time -- and maybe sabotaging our careers to boot.

lunch break 

(Photo Credit: Robert Huffstutter/Flickr)

"You don't have time to skip your lunch break," says Tom Rath, author of the upcoming "Eat, Move, Sleep," in an interview with Fast Company. "What you do at lunch can either make or break the rest of the day."

Still skeptical? Here's why you should stop eating over the keyboard:

1. You'll be more productive.

Eating lunch at your desk saves time, in the sense that it's faster, but true productivity isn't about hoarding minutes, it's about using your time effectively.

"In my work with hundreds of clients who have experimented with different practices to increase their work day energy and job satisfaction," career coach Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli tells Yahoo Finance. "I have never had a client who started taking real lunch breaks, the kind where you actually leave your desk for an hour, conclude that doing so is a waste of time."

2. You won't overeat.

Ask any veteran dieter: the quickest way to eat too much is to eat while you're zoned out, staring at a screen. It's why Weight Watchers tells its clients not to eat while watching TV. Don't let your computer lull you into chowing down more than you intended or steal your enjoyment of a really good meal.

3. You'll be more successful.

Why is lunch with the CEO a thing at many companies? Because the big execs all take their lunch and use it as a time to bond with workers, clients, or their professional network. If not working at all during lunch seems too decadent to you, use the time to bolster your career.

But take a real break once in a while, too. You're not being lazy, you're working smart as well as hard. It's science!

Tell Us What You Think

Do you take lunch breaks? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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