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Five reasons to go out for lunch

Winter’s here. And as the days get darker it becomes even more important to get out of the office when you can.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is real. A lack of sunlight increases your melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy, and can lower serotonin levels, which can lead to depression. SAD can leave you feeling lethargic and unmotivated and can also lead to weight gain because of the carbohydrate craving associated with the condition.

Getting enough sunlight on the weekends is easy—you just need to be outdoors or spend time in your conservatory (if you have one). But that’s only two days a week and it’s not enough. If you’re an Evolve member, it’s likely you’re a very busy individual so how do you get out of the office during the day? The simplest answer is: lunchtime.

Eating at your desk or in the car on the way to the next meeting is a terrible habit. Not only is it messy, it actually stops you from enjoying the food you’re eating. Apart from the SAD-busting benefits of getting out of the office for lunch, here are five more reasons why you should stop eating at your desk, even in winter:

1. You’ll save your butt by getting off it

Sitting is really bad for you. In fact, it’s killing you, slowly.

Multiple studies have found that, regardless of body mass index or amount of exercise, people who sat for more than six hours a day are more likely to develop chronic diseases, get colorectal cancer, and suffer from obesity and depression. Oh, and back and joint issues and sore bottoms.

We’re simply not built to sit in chairs all day. Getting up and moving around the office is great; going for a short walk during lunch is even better.

2. Increased productivity

Eating a sandwich while closing a deal on the phone and shooting off high-priority emails might make you look super busy but actually this sort of multitasking makes you less productive and causes brain fog. Proper, meaningful work comes about when we’re least distracted; chomping a sandwich or slurping soup is a distraction.

Photo by Henrique Félix on Unsplash

3. You won’t get snack fat (and your keyboard will be cleaner)

A drawer with a bountiful array of snacks is often a substitute for the businessperson who’s “too busy to eat.” Big mistake.

Regular snacking tricks you into thinking you’re eating little amounts. However, as I’m sure you’ve experienced, that packet of chocolate Hobnobs or Percy Pigs can be imperceptibly finished off in less than 30 minutes when all you’re doing is pinching one at a time while none of your colleagues are looking. Plus—irretrievable crumbs in your keyboard.

4. You’ll get inspired

Nobody’s ever had a seismic idea hunched over their desk. Desks are good for writing out those ideas and getting them off the ground. But for bright ideas and revelations? No.

By getting out during lunch, even if it’s just to sit in the park, you take your brain away from the habitual ho-hum of your office environment and set it free to do its own thing. This is when the magic happens. Where would the laws of the universe be today if Isaac Newton hadn’t been sitting under an apple tree?

5. You might make a new contact

When you’re surrounded by the same people and attending the same networking events, you’re inevitably going to lean towards a certain way of thinking. By getting out during the day, you may just encounter another entrepreneur who’s doing the same but works in a completely different line of business.   

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