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Saturday, 14 December

The Big Lunch

With stress, anxiety and obesity all on the rise, the benefits of communal, healthy meals shouldn’t be overlooked in the fight to combat workplace stress.

This year, the Big Lunch falls (or fell depending which side of the weekend you're reading this) on the 16-18th June.

It was an idea launched by the Eden Project in 2009 to try and get communities together over a lunch. It has since become an annual event with over 7.3 million participants taking part in 2016. The rationale underpinning the initiative is to encourage people to form friendships and to get them talking to each other and sharing ideas - a rationale that really should be taken in to the workplace.

Bennett Hay, bespoke hospitality provider, is encouraging businesses to participate in The Big Lunch, to help organisations realise the benefits of a work team lunch. Nowadays, it’s not always easy to take a lunch break when at work and people will often find any excuse to skip the meal. Being stuck in a meeting, held up on the tube, too far deep in an email trail to move away from the desk are all common culprits. But the benefits of taking a lunch break whilst at work far supersede just filling the hunger void.

 

Here, Anthony Bennett, co-founder of Bennett Hay, provides insight into the benefits of having a healthy lunch:

Lunch can encourage collaboration and communication. By its very nature, dining is a social activity. People are able to come together in an informal, relaxed setting to enjoy their food and have casual conversations. Increasingly, companies are realising that some of the most innovative and creative ideas happen outside of the board room, in café’s, kitchens or even on staircases where people have chance encounters with colleagues.

Conducting brainstorms or meetings over your lunch can sometimes be more productive than forced sessions where people feel pressurised to come up with concepts. Having eating areas which double up as meeting spaces can contribute to a sense of community, helping building occupants feel a sense of belonging.

Eating the right food can improve brain function and manage energy levels. Scientific research has shown that the brain needs fuel. Malnutrition impacts many brain functions, including information processing and memory. Food rich in antioxidants, such as nuts and blueberries, and food that increases the proteins in your brain (which protect the brain cells from damage) such as salmon or eggs are all great memory-boosting foods. Keeping well hydrated and eating a power lunch, such as fibre-packed mixed whole grains with plenty of vitamin rich vegetables and lean protein like grilled skinless chicken or turkey or fish, can aid in attention and creativity.

 

Taking a break is important

Spending eight hours a day at your desk has been found to be detrimental to both mental and physical health. Simply getting up and moving to a new area can help refresh your thoughts and put things in perspective. Renewed focus will help you to be more productive throughout the afternoon, a time when people succumb to fatigue and low concentration levels.

To find out more or to participate in this years The Big Lunch, Click Here

 

Article written by Anthony Bennett

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