Let’s (not) lunch: Manchester workaholics scoff ‘boring’ sarnies at desks missing out on fun, food and sunshine

Manchester workaholics are staying chained to their desks at lunchtime and wolfing down ‘boring’ sarnies for fear of missing a deadline or work email.

Unlike our continental cousins who enjoy long, civilised lunch breaks a new survey has revealed that 98% of Manchester workers don’t enjoy a full lunch hour with almost a quarter taking less than 15 minutes each day.

In a bid to transform lunch times and make workers more productive food psychologist Sue Firth has devised a formula for the perfect lunch consisting of tasty food, one hour away from work, fresh air and socialising with friends or colleagues.

Ms Firth said: “Doing the same thing every day such as eating the same sandwich is pretty much guaranteed to make you feel bored and when you feel bored your mood drops, so push yourself a little.”

It seems that Mancunians not only push themselves work-wise but worry that sub-standard culinary skills will become the stuff of office gossip.

Eating a varied and nutritionally-balanced meal was found to be key to worker satisfaction and to sustaining energy throughout the afternoon.

An hour was said to be the optimum amount of time necessary to switch off and return refreshed for the afternoon but even more important than the length of the break was getting some fresh air and sunlight, to stimulate the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin.

The research, by cheese manufacturer Philadelphia, also revealed that socialising was good for tension release as it reduced the stress chemical cortisol.

Ms Firth emphasised the need for a change in mindset and said: “With a bit of effort you can make your lunch great again – get excited about the food you make, step outside and make it sociable.

“That way we can all learn to love lunch again!”

Philadelphia is now spearheading a campaign called Love Lunch Again.

Philadelphia brand manager Aditi Doshi said: “Everyone deserves to have a more enjoyable lunch break – whether it’s five minutes or a full hour.

“Philadelphia is encouraging Manchester to take a fresh look at lunch by providing delicious food inspirations and a formula for success.

Picture courtesy of Nik Stanbridge, with thanks

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