Britain's Lunch Hour is Dead

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Office culture has killed the British workers' traditional lunch hour. An astonishing 85% of the nation's workforce don't take a full hour's break. And they blame the fact they're tied to their desk on fear of the boss and the office culture, according to a new survey by Britain's biggest health and fitness website, realbuzz.com.

We would urge all employers and employees to turn over a new leaf for 2007 by taking proper breaks and recognising the importance and benefits of a good work-life balance.

Office culture has killed the British workers' traditional lunch hour. An astonishing 85% of the nation's workforce don't take a full hour's break. And they blame the fact they're tied to their desk on fear of the boss and the office culture, according to a new survey by Britain's biggest health and fitness website, realbuzz.com.

realbuzz.com quizzed more than 2,000 people in an online survey and found that 62% of UK workers are forced to eat lunch at their desks, with a sandwich in one hand and a computer mouse in the other.

realbuzz.com founder Tim Rogers said: "Britain's workforce is over-worked and over tired. Today we spend our lunches as an extension of our already overburdened day, stressing over what we have yet to accomplish.

"Working long hours without a break increases workplace stress, contributes to low morale in the organisation and has serious health and safety implications.

"We would urge all employers and employees to turn over a new leaf for 2007 by taking proper breaks and recognising the importance and benefits of a good work-life balance."

Workers who admitted not taking a break blamed peer pressure or being scared of their boss. However, 59% feel they do not work to their full potential if they skip their lunch break, resulting in a dissatisfied workforce.

The survey also revealed that 81% of females have ventured out of their office for lunchtime retail therapy. The sandwich proved the nation's most popular lunchtime food, with 38% also bringing in their lunch from home. While only 16% tuck into a healthy salad.

'Death of the Lunch Hour' survey results:

·    41% of office workers never have a lunch break.

·    55% feel their lunch break is shorter than five years ago.

·    52% of people, who skip lunch, say it's because of their workload.

·    17% have made love during a lunch break.

Regional results:

North East

·    Only 24% have a full hour for lunch.

·    65% eat lunch at their desk.

·    70% have a shorter lunch break than five years ago.

East of England

·    Only 18% have sandwiches for lunch.

·    36% choose a healthy option salad.

North West

·    61% say they have a shorter lunch break than five years ago.

·    51% eat sandwiches for lunch.

·    43% say they don't take a full hour because of office culture.

London and the South East

·    Only 19% have a full hour for lunch.

·    6% have made love during a lunch break.

Scotland

·    33% never take a lunch break.

·    67% eat at their desks.

Note to editors:

realbuzz.com is the UK's largest health, fitness and lifestyle website. The site is designed to increase your motivation and make sport, leisure and getting fitter an enjoyable and fun experience.

realbuzz.com offers a wide range of helpful and informative features on topics, ranging from exercise techniques to getting started in a sport or leisure pursuit of your choice.

Click onto realbuzz.com and you'll get user-friendly information and advice on how to improve the family diet, how to get motivated for exercise and ways to boost you and your whole family's lifestyle. There are also podcasts and video downloads crammed full of useful tips on exercising.

realbuzz.com is the official online partner for major global running events, including the Flora London Marathon, the ING New York City Marathon and the Berlin Marathon, as well as other races in the World Marathon Majors series, which also includes Boston and Chicago. The site is official online partner for the BUPA Great Run Series, including the Great North Run, Great South Run and the Great Manchester Run.

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Richard Baguley
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