Women’s Health Encourages People to #LeanIntoLunch

In the wake of research about overworked employees, Women's Health launched a campaign to inspire people to get away from their desks, and take real lunch breaks.

Let’s face it. We’re a very productive and overworked nation. We’re proud of our busy lives and our accomplishments — as well we should be. But at what cost?

Women’s Health examines this phenomenon — which they’ve coined Compulsive Career Disorder (CCD) — in the July/August issue. While working on the story, the Women’s Health team discovered that 80 percent of all workers don’t take a lunch and that employees who do take lunch are more productive overall.

But it’s not just about skipping lunch. People are working from their toilets, in the wee hours of the night and even while on vacation. Indeed, CCD is a dangerous corrosive phenomenon that car wreak havoc on all aspects of your life. According to Women’s Health:

The creeping-in of work to every aspect of your life can trigger a complex dependency on the very habit that’s burning you out. CCD can suck you into an endless grind and hijack your health, relationships and job. Recent studies show that overworking can lead to heart disease, depression, weight gain, diabetes and memory loss.

In the wake of this research, Women’s Health editor-in-chief Amy Keller Laird was inspired to launch a #leanintolunch campaign in the office. Each day this month, Keller Laird has sent an email to Women’s Health employees funny GIFs, memes and videos to encouraging everyone to get out of the office and take a real break for for lunch. The magazine also teamed up with Tumblr to share the inspiration with others and spread the #leanintolunch movement to other social platforms.

The campaign launched on July 1 and is the most successful social campaign the magazine has run to date. Since the beginning of the month, the reached 3.4 million people and accumulated 15.6 million impressions according to TweetReach. 

Lisa Chudnofsky, Women’s Health site director said the response is bigger than the team ever anticipated.

As soon as the July/August issue of Women’s Health hit stands we started to see tweets from readers using the hashtag #leanintolunch and tagging @womenshealthmag and @amykellerlaird. The premise that we all need to take a “real” break from our desks each day – not scarf down a sandwich in 60 seconds as we hover over our keyboards – really seems to be resonating with them.

But even in the Women’s Health office, breaking the habit of skipping lunch is easier said than done. Keller Laird noted:

Our research editor told me she’s been taking her lunch break since fact-checking my ed letter in the July/August issue. Some people still need prodding, though—it’s hard to break the eat-over-desk cycle if you’ve been doing it for so long.

Keller Laird hopes to keep the momentum going and the Women’s Health community takes over, sharing pictures of themselves at lunch and tagging @womenshealthmag on Instagram. Her ultimate vision for the Women’s Health office during lunch?

Silence! Because everyone’s eating out! Or, alternatively, super-raucous laughter coming from a group dining together in the conference room.