Do not hunch over lunch
17 May' 16

Do not hunch over lunch

Chennai: Eating at your desk is a no-no, confirms a recent survey. You are likely to eat a wrap or a roll – and how many veggies can those hold? Put that spread sheet away when you eat. You will return to it, more productive.

 
The statistics are clear: 
37 per cent Indians spend four or five days a week lunching at their desk, making India the second highest desk-eating lunch country after Taiwan, says a new survey conducted among 5,500 workers in 11 Asia-Pacific markets in the age group 18 - 60 years. The survey also highlights that the average time spent at the desk is 67 per cent (that is, six to nine hours) and 17 per cent (10-12 hours), with women more likely to come in the first category. Doctors warn that spending long hours at the desk without a break may lead to a number of complications - from obesity to excessive stress and poor eating habits. A tight work schedule might leave you with just 10-15 minutes at your disposal for a lunch break. And, when you choose to work while eating to save time, you may succeed in the mission, but it results in a number of adverse effects on your health, warn experts. The survey added that 63 per cent Indian corporates say they can’t exercise or stretch at work due to lack of time.
 
Stress affects food intake:  
Dr Dharini Krishnan, Consultant Dietician, says, “Your mind is at work and not concentrating on food. So, you are going to eat less or more.” She adds that when one is eating too fast, one is not listening to the satiety signals in the brain. She points out that eating fish and getting emotional can make one choke on it.  Dr Krishnan also says that eating at the desk influences the choice of food one makes. “The moment I decide to eat at the desk, then this is going to decide what to eat for lunch. You can’t have a dhal; you end up eating sandwiches and rolls. How much vegetable can you pack in your rolls,” she says.
 
Postural imbalance: 
While obesity and stress have been discussed as one of the biggest repercussions of spending long hours at the office desk, the implications this has on bone and joint health are equally important, says Dr Dobson Dominic, Medical Director, S10 Health Sports Lounge. He adds, “Postural imbalance is a huge concern as well. This affects bone and joint health, which is known as a silent killer.” Long hours at the desk can lead to secretion of stress hormones that store fat, apart from known
 
Workplaces must be fitness-regimen friendly: 
Dr Dominic adds that the role of ergonomics and moving around is huge and that organisations should integrate fitness into the daily routine for the benefit of employees. Sudharsan Rajagopalan, HR Recruiter, TCS-TAG, says, “Some of them have gyms and swimming pools, badminton courts, etc. This is for people who are interested, but what about those who don’t want to work out? There are frequent pop-ups for stretching out, monitors are programmed to black out to remind employees to stretch and relax. Most IT companies don’t allow employees to eat at their desks. Yet there are people who do it,” he adds.

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