Brits don't take long enough for lunch each day making them less productive workers, study finds

A THIRD of Brits don’t take long enough for lunch each day – and feel less productive at work as a result.

Research polling 2,000 adults found nearly three quarters think their lunchtimes could be improved – with getting outside and having a change of scenery the number one solution.

These were followed by wanting more time to relax and eating something convenient and tasty.

The research also found Brits have formed bad habits as a result of working from home, with four in 10 more likely to eat lunch solo now than they did before the coronavirus pandemic.

Of those happy to share the time with others, a fifth spend it with their partner and 12 per cent with colleagues.

Lunch is clearly an important part of people’s days, as 52 per cent are far less efficient in the afternoons if they skip that much-needed midday rest.

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The research was commissioned by Costa Coffee, which collaborated with M&S Food to create a specially designed series of benches, each complete with ambient sounds, refreshing scents and phone chargers – everything needed to enjoy the ‘best lunchtime ever’.

The benches were launched after additional research of 1,000 adults in 10 cities across the UK found people in Newcastle take the shortest lunch breaks – at just 22 minutes.

Naomi Matthews, food and beverage commercial director UK & Ireland at Costa Coffee, said: “Taking a lunch break is so important to our wellbeing and with so many people now experiencing shorter lunchtimes or not taking a lunch break at all, we hope our unique benches give people an opportunity to unwind and recharge.”  

The study found those in Manchester take the second shortest lunchbreaks, at just 23 minutes and 48 seconds.

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Followed by Glasgow, where adults enjoy 24 minutes and 18 seconds for their midday respite.

As a result, the benches will be launched in these three cities and will be available for use during British Sandwich Week.

Each bench has been designed by a local artist – Hazel Oakes in Newcastle, Jenny Leonard in Manchester and Lewi Quinn in Glasgow – and brought to life by drawing on local culture and skylines in a colourful celebration of what they love about their city.

The benches are also themed around the top three locations Brits dream about enjoying lunch in when not at home.

Scenic nature spots, vibrant beaches and the local park are the most common daydream locations.

The studies were conducted via OnePoll and also revealed the reason breaks are cut short, with trying to get work done and pausing for a rest ‘killing their momentum’ for the day among the reasons.

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Sandwiches topped the list of the most popular lunch options, voted for by more than a third of the nation, followed by Ploughman’s lunch and jacket potato.

Topping the list of favourite sandwich fillings was Ploughman’s cheddar cheese, followed by ham and cheese, and roast chicken and stuffing.

TOP 10 CITIES WITH THE SHORTEST LUNCH BREAKS:

1. Newcastle – 22 minutes

2. Manchester – 23 minutes 48 seconds

3. Glasgow – 24 minutes 18 seconds

4. Birmingham – 24 minutes 54 seconds

5. Edinburgh – 25 minutes 6 seconds

6. Cardiff – 25 minutes 12 seconds

7. Leeds – 25 minutes 24 seconds

8. Bristol – 27 minutes 6 seconds

9. London – 28 minutes

10. Sheffield -28 minutes 48 seconds

To discover the ultimate lunchtime bench during British Sandwich Week (22-28 May), visit:

• Newcastle: Grey Street Monument, Grey Street, Newcastle, NE1 5AF  

• Manchester: Costa Coffee, Unit G41-42, Tower 12, 18-20 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BZ

• Glasgow: Costa Coffee, Unit 1 George House, 50 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EH

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