Eating lunch in front of your computer might be making you fat. A recent study finds that workers who eat at their desks become distracted from the process of eating and subsequently consume more calories throughout the day.
Study subjects were either asked to play online games while eating a multi-course meal or move away from their desks while dining. Sometime later, all subjects sampled cookies as part of a mock dessert taste test. Researchers found that participants who played computer games while eating sampled up to 250 calories worth of cookies while the non-gamers consumed less than half of that. When the participants were asked to recall what they ate for lunch and the order in which it was served, those who sat in front of their computers were significantly less accurate than the control group. Although this study was performed under controlled conditions, employees should recognize that checking email, reading online news, and engaging in other distracting activities can all affect memory.
It might be hard to push yourself away from your computer and focus on your food, but it’s one of the easiest ways to help with portion control. When you’re at the office, savor your lunch and let yourself escape from work obligations for 5-10 minutes. Your scale will thank you.