Take a deep breath. Step away from the desk. Pick up the sandwich. Phew, you're doing great.
OK, so this video seems — is — really silly, but maybe the silly part is that WE ALL DO THIS. And it's really not very good for us.
Dr. James Hamblin: Work is life in America. I saw it in hospitals. I see it here at The Atlantic. You're working from morning till night and you're working again all night.
I can't tell you not to freak out because I don't know what pressures your job is putting on you. I mean, maybe you should be freaked out. Maybe you're about to lose your job. Maybe you're hanging on by a thread, barely qualified. You probably are. I know I am. So you've got to spend 12 hours at the office. I can't change this whole culture. But I can tell you sad desk lunch is a public health hazard.
There are many places you can eat besides your desk. Like in a common area or a kitchen. If there are plants in your office, eat by the plants. Eat by some books. Among the bicycles. Think of the possibilities out of doors. Eat anywhere else but your desk.
If you feel guilty taking a lunch away from your desk because no one else in the office is doing it, raise awareness. Because you know it's good for them. Encourage other people to do the same. Encourage a social atmosphere. Change the culture. It's not like you're working anyway while you're eating. People are at their computers, staring at Facebook. But you know, social media is not a replacement for whatever the real life version of social media is. We know for sure that social isolation and stress take years off of people's lives.
As you become more socially connected, your health improves. Lunch isn't the only answer, but it's an easy one. There's a bunch of people sitting around 10 feet from each other, staying at their computers. They should really just be taking a break and chatting.
So maybe think of being social like you think about exercise. Take this opportunity to exercise your social brain. If you're thinking about it like exercise, then you're, like, "Oh, cool. I did 30 minutes of social today at lunch. That means I can go home and just binge watch TV." America? More like Workerica these days. These colors don't run. That's true. They don't run away from their desk long enough to get lunch. That's what the bumper stickers should say.