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Ways to make 'lunch hour' a proper break

Many employment contracts stipulate a one hour break each day. For a lot of us though, actually having a ‘lunch hour’ is a distant dream – the proportion of people taking a proper 60-minute break was said to be as low as 17% in a recent Ipsos Mori survey.

Feeling daunted by the workload is undoubtedly one reason as to why the average lunch break for a UK worker is just 28 minutes. However, some people find themselves returning to work for the afternoon stint simply because they are struggling to find things to do. If your office is out of town, there may be little or nothing in the way of local attractions. Even if you work in a city centre, it isn’t feasible to go shopping every lunchtime.

However, when you are able to take 60 minutes, here are some ways you can make your lunch hour a proper break:

Having a sit-down lunch. Lunches for office workers so often involve snatching a takeaway sandwich. Once in a while, however, it’s nice to sit down in a café or pub, and to socialise with colleagues at the same time.

Reading. Until you need to go back to work, why not bury yourself in a good book? Maybe visit the local library if you haven’t brought a book with you.

Exercise. Even if you don’t fancy a rushed visit to a local gym, could you feasibly go for a walk in your lunch break? Is there a local park of green space where you can do this way from the bustle of the city?

Cultural attractions. Is there a museum, gallery or other interesting attraction near your office? Most of these places are free to enter, so you can dip in for a few minutes every now and then. Alternatively, are there any lunchtime concerts or performances in the locality?

General internet activity. Before using your lunch break for personal internet use, make absolutely sure that you know exactly what sites can and can’t be viewed from work computers – ask if any in doubt

A 15-minute massage. Many places offer these very short massage sessions, which can nevertheless relieve many of your stresses and concerns and leave you feeling rejuvenated for the afternoon.

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