Your Lunch Hour Is Disappearing From the American Workplace

A full lunch hour is becoming obsolete, as recent data from Fooda shows, and hardly anyone goes out for food anymore

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The classic lunch break is more complicated than we think.

Whether you bring in a sad desk lunch from home, get food delivered, or take a breather by eating outside the office, the lunch hour is as American as labor unions and apple pies. But according to Fooda, the “lunch hour” is not really an hour anymore, and it may not even be spent eating lunch.

A survey of 500 professionals found that workers in three out of five major industries spend fewer than 45 minutes at lunch every day, and 90 percent of workers mostly bring in lunch from home and eat at their desks instead of going out.

The industry that is most likely to take a longer lunch hour is media and communications, where workers take, on average, 58-minute lunch breaks. The most hectic lunch breaks are in the food and beverage industry, whose workers scarf down food in 31 minutes or less. Most workers are thrifty, too: 78 percent of those surveyed spend less than $25 a week on lunch.

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But lunch hour isn’t necessarily for lunch anymore: Businesspeople, lawyers, and technology workers are more likely to run errands during work, while one-third of all American workers take a nap in the middle of the day.