1 Million British workers never take a lunch break – with a further 1.6 million taking a maximum of 10 minutes

  • Research reveals that only 17% of people take an hour for their lunch break
  • 34% eat lunch at their desk with 325,000 employees eating lunch in the work toilet
  • 59% of the workforce isn’t getting enough sleep between working days – with 6 hours being the average

Research released today reveals nearly one million1 British workers never takes a lunch break, with a further 1.6 million2 having just 10 minutes off during the day – despite all employees having the right to one uninterrupted break of 20 minutes, if they work for more than 6 hours per day3

The study by Yell, also revealed the average lunch break for full time workers in the UK is just 32 minutes, and only 17% of people take between 51 minutes and an hour for lunch.

One in three people (34%) eat lunch at their desks and 30% of people stay at their work’s canteen or kitchen. Shockingly, 325,000 employees4 - equivalent to the population of Wigan – have been revealed to eat their lunch in the toilet at work.

When it comes to re-charging for the working day, 19 million workers (59%) aren’t getting enough sleep – recommended at 7-9 hours for 18-65-year olds5, with 6.01 hours being the average. 45% of people sleep for just 5-6 hours per night, 9% of workers have 3-4 hours, and 2% get less than an hour per night.

Mark Clisby, Chief Marketing Officer at Yell said: “As a nation we’re busier than ever before and often our health takes a back seat. To consistently deliver high performance, we must ensure we’re keeping our bodies healthy, getting enough sleep and taking regular breaks during the working day.

“Consider small changes to long-standing bad habits. If you’re somebody like me who struggles to take a lunch break, or eats at their desk, commit to stepping outside your workplace and getting some fresh air and exercise. When this becomes the ‘norm’ and you’re getting at least 20 minutes’ break, you’ll go back to work feeling refreshed and with a positive outlook for the rest of your day.” 

For more tips and advice for small business owners, visit https://business.yell.com/knowledge/.

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About Yell

Yell is No.1 for managed digital marketing services for all types of local businesses in the UK*. Their goal is simple; to connect consumers and businesses online. Yell.com now provides advanced tools to support consumers in their search for suppliers, including ratings and reviews, mobile apps and social media sharing. Yell is one of the largest resellers of Google Ads in the UK and provides a range of fully managed digital marketing services for businesses including Pay Per Click, Websites, Display adverts, Social media and directory listings. Over 130,000 businesses currently advertise with Yell, and Yell.com is used by millions of consumers every month.

*Source: M-Brain research 2017, #1 in terms of revenue from sales of managed digital marketing services
1 3% of people say they never take a lunch break. According to https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/january2019, approx. 32.53 million people are currently employed in the UK. This means that almost a million people (975,900) aren’t taking lunch breaks.
2 5% of workers take a maximum of 10 minutes, which equates to 1.6 million workers
3 https://www.gov.uk/rest-breaks-work
4 1% of those surveyed
5 https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-needs-get-the-sleep-you-need.htm/