Dump the Junk: Promoting Healthy Eating Habits Among Workforce

May 22, 20177:28 pm483 views

You are what you eat. This simply means to be fit and healthy, you need to eat good and healthy food. Owing to which, employee wellbeing is one of the top concerns for business leaders to achieve top performance. Healthy employees maintain energy levels at work at all times of the day, are motivated to perform and do not slack responsibilities when committing to deadlines.

Not only do they contribute to greater productivity and job satisfaction, their workings impact and reflect on your bottom line too. As according to Gallup survey, unhealthy absenteeism can cost your company up to $153 billion in lost productivity annually.

Companies are hence required to play an active role in promoting healthy work-life habits to strike the perfect balance between good health, sound sleep and eating healthy. After all, promoting healthy lifestyle habits among the workforce could prove to be a cheaper alternative, than investing huge sum of company’s budget on additional health benefits and insurance.

Fostering a culture of healthy eating and healthy living goes beyond offering balanced cafeteria meals and dump the junk initiatives. Such initiatives could start with smaller actions such as, when your employees do not drink enough water during the day or skip lunch due to deadlines, they later suffer from headaches and face difficulty in concentrating on their job.

Additionally, unhealthy eating habits such as consuming too much junk food can lead to serious health concerns in the long run, with the immediate effect being obesity and belly fat. When your employees do not control their calorie intake and cross cholesterol limits from binging on junk despite advocating healthy living culture at work, then you should perhaps choose to upgrade your absenteeism policy.

This will help ensure that employees do not take sick leaves, more often due to stress, skipping on lunches, and binging between breaks on unhealthy snacky items, while helping them seek guidance from nutritional experts to modify their lifestyle choices.

So, how do you promote healthy eating habits at work and promote a culture of healthy living with positive thinking. Below are some quick tips to spread the word in your office:

See: Healthy Work Habits for Healthier Employees

  1. Find the right initiatives

Healthy eating is a habit, which is more of a voluntary lifestyle choice, rather than an obligatory conduct. This means not everyone is keen on shape and size of their body, let alone joining a gym or adopting healthy eating habits.

As you cannot force your employees to commit to particular lifestyle, it is crucial for leaders to know how such employees perceive wellbeing initiatives. Therefore, you should conduct a survey with a questionnaire to find out, what kind of healthy eating programs will suit their preferences.

  1. Provide necessary tools

There is a reason why junk food is so popular in this fast-paced world. Besides being cheaper and faster to serve, compared to other wholesome meals. You can take a quick grab on your way to work, employees can just drop by and order takeaways such as burgers and fries for breakfast.

If you want to change this habit, you should make it easier for your employees to implement healthy lifestyle. Such as for example, you can allocate some budget to provide healthy meals to employees, such as oats, cereals, and fruits. You should also keep your kitchen well-maintained and clean, so they can use it comfortably.

  1. Switch your snacking choices

Vending machines are a great savior when employees crave for some refreshments during hectic work days. If your office has vending machines, you might consider filling it with healthier choices.

Rather than soft drinks, you can stock mineral water, fresh fruit juices, or milk as an option. For quick snack before lunch, you can store fruits, low-calorie cereal bar, and other lighter snacks in your pantry. By implementing such change in lifestyle practices, you can still provide delicious but nutritious snacking choices.

  1. Raise alcohol awareness      

It’s Friday and if your employees are planning for an after-work party, it’s great to unwind over the weekend. While this sounds like a good idea to maintain work-life balance and build camaraderie, employers should be more cautious when alcohol and excess drinking is chosen as a mode to destress.

Drinking too much alcohol could mean intake of extra calories, which is not healthy in the long-term. Therefore, encouraging alcohol awareness among employees is one crucial step towards building healthy workplace culture and prevent alcohol-related health concerns in the future.

  1. Don’t eat lunch at your desk       

Discourage your employees from eating at their desks. Not only does this habit will leave spillage around, they don’t have much opportunity to move and stretch their body too. Employees typically spends 6 hours a day sitting in front of the computer, and taking their lunches in a cubicle or confined to their work desk is not a healthy option. Therefore, you should allow for proper break time for employees, to go for a stroll or walk around the office, chit-chat in the greens and breathe fresh air, before they come back to their work spaces.

Most employers might not realise it, but poor eating habits could be the real reason behind employee’s’ illness-related absenteeism. As people spend most of their time at work, it makes sense for a company to create ideal workplace environment with healthy eating habits. Incorporating healthy eating initiatives in your day-to-day life could fetch returns in the longer run with minimised health risks, while boosting performance, productivity and infusing positive energies into life.

Read also: Fostering a Healthier Gig Economy: In Conversation with Rebecca Chiu, CEO, MyWork Global