A survey by the American Dietetic Association finds that three-fourths of office workers in the United States eat lunch at their desk two to three times a week. Nearly one in three eats breakfast there too.
American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Eliza Zied says eating at your desk is bad for your health. "Physically if you are sitting and eating lunch at your desk, you are not getting outside, you are not exposing yourself to physical activity, and everybody needs about 30 minutes a day of physical activity," she says. "Even a 10 or 15 minute brisk walk at lunchtime can really boost your spirits, make your muscle stronger and burn some calories."
Zied says the survey revealed other negative health factors. "Half of all people are not washing their desks before they eat," she says. "Sixty percent of all people admit to not cleaning their keyboard, their phone and other things they touch more than once a month. It is a bacteria buffet at your desk."
Bacteria can get into the food and cause problems like stomach cramps, diarrhea and lots of sick days. Zied says eating at your desk can lead to other bad habits like overeating and less nutritious food choices.