Apparently, 70% of Americans eat at their desks several times a week, says the American Dietetic Association. This can easily lead to to bad nutritional choices, as well as raise a few food-safety problems. That’s because the purpose of the desk isn’t to be an eating place, so having your lunch in front of the computer may not be so hygienic.
So what do most people eat when they’re having lunch at the office: vending machine candy or chocolate, microwave popcorn, or maybe a doughnut from a dozen pack? Far from a healthy meal! So here are 5 easy tips that will help you eat better at the office.
1. Watch what you eat: Eating at your desk means you can easily get distracted (checking your e-mail, reading your favorite blogs, watching funny videos) and overeat. This can be prevented by controlling your portions; fill your plate with how much you need, a moderate size lunch that doesn’t fill you up.
2. Bring your own food: Not all work places provide healthy meal options, so it’s safer to bring your own food. Go for a salad with chicken, nuts, beans and veggies, this way you’ll get some great nutrients, including fiber and protein. Avoid takeout lunches as much as possible, they tend to be expensive, oversized, low on nutrients and heavy in fat and calories.
3. Walk as much as you can: Having a stagnant lifestyle is not healthy. If you have to eat at your desk, try and move as much as you can during the day: walk to the water cooler (this will also determine you to drink more water), walk around the parking lot, offer to make document copies when someone needs them, any type of physical activity is more than welcomed.
4. Disinfect your desk: If you’re using your desk as an eating table, you need to make sure there is no bacteria lurking around. It’s enough to wipe your whole desk area with disinfecting wipes once a day. Make sure to clean your phone, your keyboard, and your mouse as well, and try to avoid touching those surfaces while you’re eating.
5. Invite a coworker to lunch: Or maybe a few coworkers! Sharing a lunch with someone is a healthy habit. It’s also important from a productivity and creativity standpoint to have a break from work and interact with your colleagues.