Many of us think carefully about what we eat outside of work, opting for eggs over pancakes for Sunday brunch but what about while we are at work. Does what we eat during the working day really matter that much? Turns out it does. Given that we spend more than half our waking week at work, most of us consume the majority of our calories during this time too.
Does healthy eating in the workplace really matter?
How does what we eat impact how we work?
Everything in our body is connected, what we eat impacts the energy we have. Much of the food we eat is broken down into glucose when it enters our body. Glucose is the blood sugar that keeps us feeling alert and allows us to complete everyday tasks.
Different foods produce different amounts of glucose. Sugar, for example, floods our body with energy for a short period resulting in a short burst of energy followed by a low when it is burned off. Useful if you need to finish a race but not so good for the kind of concentration needed at work. A healthy diet filled with whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables helps our body to regulate our glucose levels making it easier for us to concentrate for the sustained periods required to complete work tasks.
Does what we eat impact our productivity?
How can HR promote healthy eating in the workplace?
How can HR support healthy eating in the workplace?
Provide a break area: your business doesn’t have to provide a full canteen service but work with facilities in your building to ensure employees have access to:
- Crockery and utensils
- Table and chairs
To encourage use, this area needs to be kept clean and tidy by everyone who uses it.
Birthdays: if you work in a larger office, marking colleagues’ birthdays may mean there is cake in the office almost every day of the year! This can be challenging if you are trying to encourage healthier eating. Some alternative suggestions to mark birthdays include:
- Watermelon/fruit cake
- Sushi platter
- Tickets to the movies
- Balloon bouquet
- Protein bar tray bake
Encourage hydration: our bodies can confuse thirst with hunger causing us to reach for a snack instead of a water bottle. Encourage colleagues to drink more water by providing water bottles or herbal tea bags for employees who prefer something warm.
These are just some of the ways your business can encourage employees to eat better while at work. Has your business tried any of these options? Or has something else worked? Share your experience to the Allianz Care Facebook page.