Careers & Education

What to do at lunch for a work day break

Info Guru,

Rate This Article:

2.7 / 5.0
purple knit cuff
Try knitting during your lunch for a creatively meditative outlet
  • Share
  • Tweet

Suggestions for what to do at lunch to relax or boost your energy

Why so many people default to non-essential tasks during lunch simply doesnít make sense. Eating a sandwich at your desk is about as much fun as waiting in line at the bank. Figuring out what to do at lunch is a subtle, but not insignificant way to boost your happiness and break up the work day.

Everyone needs a real work day break; the benefits out way the consequences of an unanswered phone call. The world will not crumble if you step away from your desk for your full break Ė guaranteed. The beauty is that it doesnít matter what you do at lunch, it just matters that you do something.

In other words:
1 hr lunch break = 5 hrs free time/ week
5 hrs free time Xs 50 weeks of work = 250 hrs free time/ year
250 hrs of free time = 10 days of free time a year

Do you agree that 10 days of your life every year is too much time to waste?

If yes, here are a few suggestions of what to do at lunch:


Assuming you have access to a shower for a quick rinse afterward, exercising is a fantastic way to spend your lunch break. Exercising boosts your energy and cognitive functions, and itís essential to your health. Though you may feel like you donít have the energy to workout, you may be surprised to learn that exercise gives you energy and a more positive outlook for the rest of the day. Try 20 minutes a day a few times a week before you nix this one.

Take Walks

If you donít work near a gym or have a shower at your office, a good workout may not be an option. This doesnít mean you canít be active. Taking a walk during your lunch break will give you fresh air, a change of scenery and maybe a mini-adventure. Lunch hour walks will also keep you in tune with the season - Nobody likes feeling as though theyíve missed a beautiful day.


Sometimes what you really need is 10 minutes to clear your mind. Before or after you eat, find a quiet corner or bench and meditate. Set your phone alarm if you only have 10 minutes or so. The benefits of meditation merit multiple book shelves, but suffice it to say that youíll feel focused, calm and more present after.

Research shows that regular meditation lowers your blood pressure and helps with stress management. If you donít feel comfortable closing your eyes in public, try a meditative activity like knitting.


Reading a book feeds your mind and imagination. Consider this payback for your output during work hours. You deserve the enjoyment and relaxation so many people get from reading. If you donít like fiction, reading the paper or a magazine.


Find out if any of your friends work nearby and meet up for lunch. Check out a new cafť or share sandwiches at a park. Limit shop talk and chat about the finer non-work related points of life. Consider meeting with a few co-workers once a week to build stronger relationships.

Do something creative

Whether you stare at a screen for 7+ hours a day or work on your feet, doing something fun and creative will give your brain a rest and engage you instincts. Grab your camera, journal or sketch pad and us your extra time to work on your craft or indulge in a hobby.

Though recent research shows that taking a 20 minute nap during the work day improves creative thinking before lunch and productivity after lunch, most offices are not equipped with a nap room. Until there's a hammock in the break room, consider experimenting until the question of what to do at lunch becomes a welcome problem of what to do first.

Mayo Clinic: Benefits of Exercise
Nova Scotia Public Service Commission: What to do at lunch

Rate this Article

Click on the stars below to rate this article from 1 to 5

  • Share
  • Tweet