Countries with the Longest Lunch Breaks Happen to Be the Most Productive: Study

Power naps and full meals equals better productivity.

countries with longest lunch breaks

In most parts of the world, lunch breaks are a standard one hour (less than that is a crime, unless you work less than 8 hours).

In other parts of the world, people can have lunch breaks up to three hours long (no, this is no joke we assure you!). The surprising part? These countries also enjoy high productivity.

Reader’s Digest recently conducted a study which featured countries that provide the longest lunch breaks, and how they continue to enjoy the best working environment as a result.

Here is the list of those countries:

1. Spain

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Spaniards have a tradition of ‘siestas’ at noon. That’s why their lunch breaks extend between 2 pm to 5 pm.

Spanish noons are so warm it causes productivity to fizzle out. That’s why a power nap and heart lunch are required to complete the workday at 8 pm. Spaniards are currently holding tight to tradition.

2. Greece

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Three-hour lunch breaks seem to be a Mediterranean trend (perhaps that explains the longer life expectancy). Greece has longer lunch breaks because lunch is their biggest meal.

The three hours are spent filling up on hearty Greek foods (all Greek food is comfort food). Greeks are big on home dining which is why they take time to go home for meals.

3. France

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The French are big on food. That is why they take their time to eat their food slowly and enjoy all the notes. The French take their full two-hour breaks. Even shops close down at  2 pm and stay closed till 4 pm because its break hours.

This is the universal lunch and afternoon break for young and old alike. Eating slower also helps prevent over-eating, which is why most French people we see are fit as a fiddle.


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4. China

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The nation that built itself overnight has a two-hour lunch break. The Chinese are big on productivity and maximizing efficiency. That’s why they have a two-hour lunch break to squeeze a power nap in there.

5. Brazil

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The nation that parties all night gets more done in the day because they happen to rest up. Brazilians often schedule a meeting out of the office for 10:30 am or 11 am and then go straight to their two-hour lunch break.

Like Spaniards, they work late and have supper late. Which is why they eat a fuller meal during the day.

6. Italy

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This is another nation which is big on food and power naps. That is why Italians have a 90 min lunch break. In Italy, it’s standard to have ‘siestas’ in Italy too.


via Reader’s Digest