Lunch breaks can be a designated time that gives care providers a break in their day, allowing them to grab a bite to eat and refuel themselves for the second part of the day. According to a recent WO poll, most ODs find time to eat during the workday but may not be drinking enough water until after work.
Lunch options in today’s world seem endless- eat in, order out, pack your own, or decide when the time comes to eat. More than half of poll respondents most often bring their lunch from home (55 percent). Almost a quarter say they routinely leave the office to eat, and another 15 percent say they only eat lunch some days. Five percent of respondents say there is really no time to eat at all during the day.
36 percent of respondents say they prepare their own lunch almost every day, and another quarter of respondents say they rarely pack their lunch ahead of time. 12 percent meal prep for the week, and 16 percent say they would love to have time to pack lunch, but they usually don’t have the time. Common lunches and snacks reported include nutritious foods like salads and smoothies, protein bars and low-carb options.
While many care providers seem to make a healthy and relaxing lunch a priority, just over a quarter of respondents say they think they are drinking enough water at work (27 percent). More than 60 percent of respondents say they are not drinking enough water at work and are catching up before or after their shift.
The good news is that it seems no matter how busy the day gets, most care providers have been able to maintain a healthy diet during work hours. Almost half of respondents say they are generally satisfied with their diet at work (48 percent) and just over a quarter are almost always getting enough water and eating healthy during the day.
OFFICE LUNCH HOURS: STAY OPEN, OR CLOSE?
Depending on staff size and how busy the day’s schedule is, lunch breaks can occur during a designated time of the day- when the office can close for an hour- or they can occur in as patients continue to be seen by others on the team. More than three-quarters of respondents say that employees in their office eat in shifts so there is always someone covering essential areas (77 percent). Almost 20 percent say their office closes for a lunch break.
“Because of mandatory masks in our office, I now close my office door when I’m eating lunch,” one respondent says. “I find this more relaxing since people don’t often speak to me during this time. In the past, I was bombarded constantly throughout my ‘break’ and it didn’t feel like a break at all.”
No matter what your lunch of choice is and when or where you decide to eat it is totally up to you. As long as you are prioritizing your and your staff’s health and making sure patients are still happy, you do you.
78 percent of respondents were female ODs and 9 percent were male ODs. 10 percent were non-OD females. Three percent were non-OD males.
Cover photo credit: OatmealStories, Getty Images