Monday, October 26, 2009

Drawbacks Of Desk Dining

One of the biggest drawbacks to eating at your desk is that you're not focused on your food. Instead, you're sending e-mail, answering the phone, shuffling paper- the perfect recipe for overeating.
Eating at your desk encourages mindless eating, and overeating. You're most likely multitasking and not paying attention to the amount of food you're eating. Lunching at your desk also means that instead of sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day, you're doing it for nine.
Eating at your desk also prevents you from getting up and out of your office. You need to get the heart pumping and the blood flowing again, and lunch is an important time to do that. If you're sitting at your desk eating, you lose that opportunity.
As if that weren't bad enough, dining at your desk can create a field day for bacteria.
If you get called away from your desk, and then you have to put off eating for an hour or two, and then you pick at your lunch over the day, you need to be concerned about the temperature of your food and food safety.
In other words, your room-temperature chicken salad sandwich that's been sitting out for three hours can easily become a bacteria feeding ground. But wait, it gets worse. (You might want to put that sandwich down now.)
The desk, in terms of bacteria, is 400 times more dirty than your toilet. People turn their desks into bacteria cafeterias because they eat at them, but they never clean them. The phone is the dirtiest, the desktop is next, and the mouse and the computer follow.
To give your desktop the dirt test, turn your keyboard over and see how many crumbs fall out. The more of a snowstorm, the dirtier your desk.
7 Tips for Desk-Bound Diners

Clearly, it's time to find a new place to dine, like a restaurant or the cafeteria. But for those of us who just can't break away from that ever-expanding pile of work, here are some tips for improving the desk-dining experience:
1. Watch what you eat. Pay attention to what you're putting in your mouth when you eat at your desk. And don't overdo it by eating too much because you're too focused on email. For lunch, you want to pick a meal that's moderate in size but doesn't fill you up.
2. Bring your lunch. Lunch is a good opportunity to eat health.Bring a salad with chicken, nuts, beans and veggies- you'll get some great nutrients, including fiber and protein. Avoid takeout lunches, which tend to be expensive, oversized, heavy in fat and calories, and lacking in nutrients. To keep your lunch safe, the American Dietetic Association recommends using an insulated lunch bag with a freezer pack to keep your food cold until you can put in the office refrigerator. But don't let more than two hours pass before putting it back into a fridge.
3. Walk when you can. We're genetically designed to move. So spending lunch at your desk when you have a long day as it is, isn't a good thing. If you have to eat at your desk, look for ways to move during the day.
4. Disinfect your desk. Wiping your whole desk area with disinfecting wipes once a day is enough to get it clean, Paper towels don't work. They just give the germs a free ride around the office. Be sure to get your phone, your keyboard, and your mouse as well, and avoid touching those surfaces while you're eating.
6. Eat with a friend. If you have to eat at your desk, invite an officemate over to eat with you. It's important from a productivity and creativity standpoint to get that break and interact with your colleagues.

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