Bosses need to ensure their workers are spending lunch away from their desk to help them be more productive, according to a dietician association.

Employees should be encouraged by their managers to spend time with their colleagues in a different environment to the one in which they work, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) says.

According to research commissioned by ActionAid, nearly 40 per cent of people working in human resources do not take a lunch break.

Dr Frankie Phillips, a registered dietician at the BDA, said managers need to help produce a culture that persuades employees to get away from their desks.

"People are more productive when they have had a break so there is a financial and economical benefit as well to encouraging staff to have a lunch break," she added.

The report also revealed women are more likely to eat at their desks with 21 per cent doing so compared with 17 per cent of men.

Research published by I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter showed nearly half of Britain’s workers regularly eat at their desks.