The convenience of food-to-go is leading to a decline in workers bringing a packed lunch into the office.

In a recent survey by health and safety law consultancy Protecting.co.uk showed that fewer than one in 20 workers now bring a lunch to work.

Of those surveyed, 13% went to a fast food establishment, 16% bought a sandwich from a shop, 9% had a pub lunch. For those who stayed in the office, only 5% brought a packed lunch with them while 14% used the staff canteen, 22% just ate snacks from the vending machine and 21% went without lunch.

Mark Hall, on behalf of Protecting.co.uk said: “The number of people who have a proper meal during their working day is depressingly low. And we’re shocked at the number of folk who go without something to eat at all.”

The survey of more than 300 workers found there has been a sharp decline in the number of workers bringing a packed lunch into the office.

In the past three years 25% of 18-30 year olds said they have brought a packed lunch to work, however this fell to just 1% in the past three months.

Among older workers the proportion was higher with 91% of 30-45 year olds and 93% of over 45s have brought a lunch into their office over the past three years but this fell to £5 and 6% respectively in the past three months.

Convenience was continually cited as the reason why fewer people now bring in packed lunches with the availability of food to go contributing to the fall in homemade sandwiches.

Protecting.co.uk suggests offices should offer more healthy options to workers and run a nutritional campaign to highlight the impact eating a proper lunch has on worker health and productivity.

“It’s well known that worker productivity is linked to both decent breakfasts and lunches,” says Protecting.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “And it appears that thanks to so-called convenience foods, fewer employees are eating properly.”

 

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