It is no surprise to know that people love to eat food, irrespective of whether they are hungry or not. The convenience of feeling good that is offered by food is usually exploited with the intake of unhealthy processed foods, which affect health adversely, impacting work productivity. So, it is necessary for companies to engage in corporate wellness programs to promote overall workplace wellness, which will, in turn, improve organizational productivity.
How Food Habits Affect Employee Health And Corporate Wellbeing?
According to a National U.S. Department Of Agriculture Food Acquisition And Purchasing survey, almost 71% of all the calories acquired by employees at work is because of the free food provided by the companies. Most of them being empty calories, they add zero nutrients but pave the way to fatigue, poor focus & concentration, and in serious cases, it also causes many chronic health disorders. A CDC study reports that almost 1/3rd of Americans are obese, increasing the chances of acquiring heart diseases & diabetes, possibly leading to increased workplace costs & decreased productivity.
What Changes Could You Make To Improve Your Overall Workplace Wellness?
Food plays a major role in affecting the health and wellness of an individual, so to achieve overall wellness, one needs to start by making simple changes in their food habits. In order to reduce calorie intake and promote workplace wellness, employers can take a few simple steps that will change the eating habits of the employees at work, help them make nutritious food choices, and adapt to a healthier lifestyle, to improve employee productivity.
- Provide subsidized snacks that are healthier, low-fatty, low in calories, not-messy, easy to munch on, and refresh the employees quickly.
- Design your office layout such that the pantry, printer, and other basic necessities are close together, giving a chance for your employees to grab a bite while at work.
- Make sure you have appropriate storage options like refrigerators to store low shelf-life foods, dairy products, etc.
- Keep the snacks handily and well in the awareness of the employees so that they can have easy access to them.
- Allot a set time for lunch breaks so that all employees can interact well while eating and not indulge in mindless eating habits.
- Organize potluck lunches at the workplace every once in a while to improve employee engagement and encourage healthy food habits.
- Negotiate a contract with food & snack vendors to provide healthy snacks on a regular basis and keep refilling the stock.
- Talk to a catering service or a baker to provide healthier versions of freshly baked brown bread, rolls, salads, etc.
- Ensure continuous drinking water supply at work so that none of the employees go dehydrated or switch to sweetened drinks in the absence of water.
What Should You Stock Up In Your Office Kitchen And Pantry?
Smart stocking of the kitchen pantry is the key to a welcomed food-based change at your workplace. The snack options offered at work should include – healthy carbs, proteins, and fats. You can include foods like –
- Raw vegetable strips like carrots, cucumbers, radishes, etc., which can be eaten raw.
- Hummus and other low-fat dips with olive oil.
- A mix of healthy nuts like walnuts, raisins, currants, almonds, and some dark chocolate bites.
- Boiled eggs, cooked broccoli florets, cauliflowers florets, etc., in the fridge.
- Brown bread with peanut butter or almond butter spreads.
- Oatmeal, whole grain cereals, etc., with low-fat milk or soy milk.
- Low-fat cheese bites or spread
- Fresh fruits, vegetable salads, granola, berries, etc.
- Green tea, coffee, ginger tea, etc., instead of the sugary drinks.
Put out all the high-fat food, sweetened drinks, soda, energy drinks that are loaded with sugar calories. Make sure that solid snacks are restocked well on time so that the employees are not tempted to carry something unhealthy to munch when at work. To encourage healthier eating, offer small perks like a movie ticket for 2 upon consuming at least 1 bottle of water every day for 10 days along with eating different vegetables and fruits. At FreeWellnessPlatform, we tailor-make corporate wellness programs to improve employee engagement, health, and overall workplace wellness, which should, in turn, enhance organizational productivity.
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