Dee DePass has been a Star Tribune business reporter since 1993, covering small business, financial institutions, manufacturing and, most recently, the economy. Originally from New York, Dee came to Minnesota after earning her master's in journalism at the University of Maryland and her undergraduate degree at Vassar College.

Skip lunch? You've got company.

Posted by: Dee DePass under Workplace issues Updated: September 9, 2011 - 11:53 AM


 Say it’s not so!

 A third of employees inhale lunch at their desks on a daily basis.

 Another 16 percent skip lunch all together. That’s a combo that can make for some cranky stressed out workers. 

These hungry tidings come to us courtesy of a recent survey of 751 workers who took a break long enough to answer questions about their work habits. The poll was conducted online last month by Right Management, the Minneapolis-based employment consulting arm of Manpower Group.

Much to the horror of work-wellness advocates and nutritionists, the survey found that only 35 percent regularly take a real lunch break.

Another 34 percent of respondents said they only ate at their desks. Fifteen percent only took a lunch break “from time to time,” while 16 percent admitted that they rarely parted their pearly whites to nibble while at the office.

Employment experts and wellness advocates are fretting about the trend.

“Sure workers may feel devoted to their work, which is fine. But given the level of stress  in today’s workplace, I wonder if the reluctance to take a break is an expression of devotion or a negative consequence of the unrelenting pressure some organizations are exerting on their workforces to get more done with fewer resources,” said Right Management Senior Vice President Michael Haid. “We have to ask if we have gone too far.”

I’d certainly say so. So do yourself a favor. Take a real break. Maybe even find 15 minutes to munch outside. It just might clear the mind and make you more productive.

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