Research shows that millennials are afraid to take lunch breaks at work, and we relate so hard

No matter your industry or your working hours, lunch breaks are a welcome reprieve from the stress of the workday. But if you’re feeling swamped, you might be tempted to eat a sad desk lunch. If you can relate, you’re not alone. A new survey found that when it comes to actually taking lunch breaks, millennials are a lot more reluctant to do so than older generations.

Tork, a company that makes products like napkins and paper towels, recently released a survey examining workers’ attitudes toward their mid-shift meals. Unfortunately, the findings are not that encouraging. According to Tork, 37% of millennials (ages 18 to 35 for the purpose of the survey) don’t feel like they can take lunch breaks. And they’re almost three times more likely than Baby Boomers to worry that their coworkers will judge them if they do.

At the same time, 44% of millennials surveyed said that they look forward to taking a breather while they eat, while only 36% of Gen Xers said the same thing, according to a press release. It’s frustrating that younger employees feel pressured to keep working during their precious breaks.

How can you enjoy your lunch when you’re worried that the rest of the office will think you’re just another entitled youth?

The press release notes that Tork partnered with Joy Bauer, who hosts NBC’s Health & Happiness, to help educate employees about the importance of lunch breaks.

"Choosing to eat a nutritious lunch is only part of the equation to living a healthy life at work," Bauer said in the release. "What you eat matters, but where you eat matters just as much, and eating a so-called 'sad desk lunch' could make you feel unhappy and less productive. That's why I'm teaming up with Tork, to encourage office workers to take back the lunch break and go out to eat a healthy meal with a coworker or friend. It will make a real difference. "

To encourage employees to take their lunch breaks, Tork is designating June 21st National Take Back the Lunch Break day. The company is urging employees to share pictures of their lunch that day with the hashtag #takebacklunch. It’s the second year that Tork has led this initiative.

This survey is all the more reason to ditch your sad desk salad and treat yourself to a real lunch break. It might make you feel a little guilty, but you’ll probably feel better in the long run.

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