Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

Tip: Eat Lunch Away from the Computer

ARCHIVES
Image via Kuznetsov Dmitriy/Shutterstock.com


Greatist is the fastest-growing fitness, health and happiness media start-up. Check out  more wellness news at Greatist.com.

Playing Scrabble online with friends or stalking an old flame on Facebook can be totally addicting. But recent research suggests zoning out in front of the computer during lunch might actually lead to overeating. So stop checking those status updates (c’mon, fess up!) and consider focusing on that yummy salad or sammy instead!

Gimme a Break - The Tip

Americans spend an average of 8 ½ hours a day staring at their computer screens, TVs, and cell phones. So take a break at lunch! Research suggests that extra screen time could wreak havoc on the eyes— and maybe even the waistline. In one study, subjects who played Solitaire on a computer while chowing down reported feeling less full than non-distracted participants. The computer gamers also ate nearly twice as much when presented when a post-lunch snack.

Need another reason to focus on food and only food during lunch? In another study, researchers found that food-focused diners showed enhanced “meal memory,” (damn, that turkey sandwich was good!), which kept them feeling satisfied longer. Subjects who were asked to read a newspaper while eating, by contrast, had more trouble keeping their hands out of the cookie jar after lunch.

Spending too much time in front of the computer can also contribute to eye problems like computer vision syndrome, which can cause pesky symptoms like eyestrain, blurred vision, and light sensitivity. Powering down mid-day can have some social benefits, too. Studies suggest people who regularly socialize with others (and no, email doesn’t count!) display better cognitive function— just from chatting it up with friends.

Living in a technology-obsessed culture makes it hard to step away from the screen, even for meals. But it’s important to have some computer, cell phone and television-free hours every day. When lunchtime rolls around, try taking a walk outdoors(fresh air— ahhh!), or getting together some co-workers for a team lunch. Interacting with real live people may seem foreign in the world of texting and Twitter, but studies show communal eating can contribute to a happier mood and healthier meal.

The Tip

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.