Food News

Reject al desko and get al fresco!

Caroline urges office workers to do themselves a favour and give up lunching “al desko”…

As I sat last week in the beautiful St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh listening to a lovely free lunch-time concert I found myself wishing that some of the many office workers in the city had managed to tear themselves away from their desks to refresh themselves and in addition, probably boost their efficiency in the afternoon.

St Giles

St Giles

I’m not sure about the figures for Edinburgh but a recent survey of 500 office workers in London showed that 50% of them don’t even leave their desks at lunchtime, let alone feel able to attend a concert! A third of them think that taking a proper lunch hour is frowned upon by their employer and almost 70% think their work load is too great to be able to take an hour’s break. One in four only have an hour off at lunchtime twice a fortnight and one in six only do this twice a month. So prevalent is the practice of eating at your desk that the Oxford Dictionary added the phrase “al desko” in 2014!

It’s all bad news for productivity, creativity, workers’ posture, their digestive systems, and their weight – ironically, sitting at your desk absentmindedly snacking throughout the day generally means a higher calorific intake from all the wrong types of food. It’s not good mentally either with many workers complaining of feeling stressed, lethargic and irritable when they don’t take time to leave their desk and have a break at lunchtime.

Leeds is lucky enough not to appear in the blacklist of worst cities for lunching al desko (named and shamed are London, Birmingham, Southampton and Glasgow) and is also fortunate in having a good programme of free concerts at both the College of Music (Wed lunchtimes) and at the University (Fri lunchtimes). Why not give one a try and feed the soul as well as the stomach? It could bring you all sorts of benefits!

Categories: Food News

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