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One in five Londoners are too scared to take a lunchbreak – but why?

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Working in London can be pretty hellish, with crowded tubes and hiked up sandwich prices - but now it’s been revealed that one in five Londoners aren’t even taking a lunch break.

Research by wellbeing charity CABA has shown that 19 per cent of Londoners don’t take a lunch break as they worry their colleagues will judge them. The study, which surveyed 2,006 people working both part and full time across the UK, saw the biggest spike in London, with the national average being six per cent.  


Read more: 20 ways to reclaim your lunchtime


Of course there’s no denying taking time out of your working day can be tough – especially when you’ve got deadlines and a full inbox – but refusing to take a break work can lead to increased stress levels, not to mention less productivity in the workplace. 

Lunch time workers

According to government guidelines we should be allowed at least a 20 minute rest if we’re working six hours or more – and that’s a 20 minute well rested break – away from your desk.

But many of us are ignoring this and grabbing that Pret sandwich while we manage our inboxes, as the research from CBA also said that nearly a quarter of employees and managers are regularly dining at their desks. 

The data even showed that women were 5 percent more likely, than men, to skip their lunch break, in favour of eating in front of their computer. 


Read more: How and why to reclaim your lunch break and create a better work-life balance


Last year research by Public Health England said that an hour of physical activity a day is required to offset the harmful effects of sitting at a desk all day.

Lead author Prof Ulf Ekelund, from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences and Cambridge University, told the Guardian: “You don’t need to do sport, you don’t need to go to the gym. It’s OK doing some brisk walking, maybe in the morning, during lunchtime or after dinner.”

It’s well worth remembering that, in 2015, Stylist launched the reclaim your lunchtime scheme – inspiring women to spend their hour out of the office and doing something creative with their lunch hours. We think it’s time that we all started doing exactly that...

Words: Sarah Finley

Images: Rex Features 

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