Most Popular Lunches in the UK - And Why You Should Take a Break
13 February 2017
Maybe you make your sandwiches up the night before. Maybe you’re a lunchtime maverick, picking a new eatery every day. Maybe you don’t take a break at all.
Research by the healthcare cover society, Benenden, has revealed the most common lunches taken in to work by UK employees.
And – for a nation that spends billions of pounds on pre-packaged lunches every year – the results are rather tame, with over three quarters of workers eating the same lunch every day for months on end.
Here are the top ten most common lunches that UK workers eat:
- Ham sandwich
- Cheese sandwich
- Chicken sandwich
- Egg sandwich
- Jacket potato and topping
- Microwave ready meal
- Prawn sandwich
Regardless of what your lunch of choice is, what’s most important is taking a proper break.
Worryingly, only 42 per cent of employees said they did not take a full lunch hour – with sixty per cent saying they took less than thirty minutes. 73 per cent of respondents said their employers actively discouraged taking a full hour break for lunch.
The Citizens Advice Bureau advise that the general rule on breaks is that you are entitled to a break of 15 minutes after a 4.5 hour work period. If you work more than 6 hours, you are entitled to at least a 30 minute break, which can include the first 15-minute break.
A varied diet and a full screen break are two essentials in ensuring that your working week doesn’t have an impact on your health. Even if it’s simply popping to a local shop, getting up from your desk will improve your circulation and allow your eyes to rest if you work on a computer. Of course, some fresh air is always beneficial.
Opting for convenience over health, time-pressed staff admit to spending an average of £5 a day on lunch. Although, 54 per cent of those surveyed said they brought food from home – which could account for workers eating the same lunch most of the time.
Only 8 per cent of employees admitted to chowing down on fast food every day, with twice as many men than women opting for this choice.
Helen Smith, Business Development Director at Benenden comments: “It’s widely recognised that workers need to ensure they take a break – whatever they are allowed - and get away from their desks. Not only from an eating lunch point of view and building up energy levels, but also to refresh the mind and have time to refocus on the afternoon ahead.
“Employers should also take their share of the blame. Workplaces vary in the amount of time given to employees for their lunch breaks and the traditional hour appears to be dying out. Employers should also ensure their workplace policies encourage a proper lunch break, whatever the length of time allowed.”
So, even if you’ve brought in a humble ham sarnie, make sure you take the time to get away from your desk and enjoy it.
Written By Mary Palmer