Study: Choosing How To Spend Your Lunch Break Reduces Fatigue

PHILADELPHIA (CBS Philly) — Exercising control over your lunch break might make more of a difference than what you actually do with it.

A new study out of Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business in Canada reveals that having autonomy during lunch helps to reduce fatigue.

In the study, more than 100 workers were asked how they spent their lunch breaks over a 10-day period and how tired they were at the end of the day.

Using the data they gathered, researchers were able to determine that “for activities that supported the psychological needs of relatedness and competence (i.e., social and work activities, respectively), as lunch break autonomy increased, effects switched from increasing fatigue to reducing fatigue.”

In other words, having the freedom to choose what you do on your lunch break — whether it’s socializing, window-shopping or yes, even getting some work done — might be able to combat that late-afternoon slump as well as the energy many workers feel when they return home after work.

The next time you automatically reach for that brown paper bag and prepare to eat at your desk, you might want to stop and consider what you actually want to do with your time.

Learn more about the study from the Academy of Management.

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