What lunch hour? More employees today are forgoing the traditional long lunch and taking an abbreviated afternoon break instead, using the time they'd normally eat to keep working or get other errands done.

It's a sign of just how time-starved employees have become: More than half of employees take 30 minutes or less to eat, according to a survey of more than 1,000 workers on behalf of KFC.

Sixty-three percent say the lunch hour is the biggest myth in office life today.

American workers today are taking less time for lunch than they used to. Fifty-five percent of workers take half an hour or less, according to a 2005 study by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based office furniture maker Steelcase.

Workers in 2005 were spending 14% less time breaking for lunch — 31 minutes — compared with 1996, when workers spent an average of 36 minutes a day for lunch.

Blame it on too much work, not enough time for personal errands, the value of face time and greater productivity demands.

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