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How to Encourage Healthy Food Choices at Work

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Apr 19, 2021
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How are your food choices affecting your performance at work? Many people never ask themselves this question and don’t make the connection between their eating patterns and their general health and wellbeing. As a leader in the workplace, you can help your team feel and do better by being a champion of healthy eating at work. Any meaningful change takes time, but if you follow the tips in this article and start encouraging healthy eating, you can expect some noteworthy improvements in the short, medium, and long term.

Benefits of Encouraging Healthy Eating in the Workplace

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As a manager, you might be tempted to focus on the professional aspects of your employees. Improved sales, productivity, and innovation are all measurable results that affect the company’s bottom line. You may have invested heavily into upskilling and reskilling your team to bring out the best in them. While these are all impressive initiatives, you mustn't neglect the overall health and wellbeing of the members of your team.

There are many benefits of promoting healthy eating in the workplace. A gradual diet change to include healthier food options is easy to do, but it can have a lasting and huge effect on an individual.

Here are some of the main benefits of encouraging healthy eating in the workplace:

  • Healthy eating at work helps to control body weight and reduce the risk of obesity.
  • You can get more energy when you eat more natural and whole grain foods.
  • When you eat less processed and junk food, you can eliminate sluggishness and toxins in the body.
  • A healthy diet contains the right balance of nutrients that the body needs to perform vital functions.
  • Once you start to see and experience these benefits of eating better, you are more motivated to continue and confident about yourself.
  • When your team members are healthier and happier, they are likely to be more energetic, motivated, and increase productivity at work.
  • A productive team means that your business is going to continue to move forward, break new down, and retain more of its workers.

Healthy Food Options in the Workplace

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Finding healthy food to eat at work is something that takes some effort and planning. You can help your employees out by making the switch as easy as possible and providing a range of options for them to choose from.

Here are some ideas about how you can go about making healthy food options more accessible in the workplace.

Increase the number of filtered water coolers and water fountains- We can’t talk about healthy eating without facing the fact that an estimated 75% of Americans are dehydrated.

Cut the junk- If your workplace has a vending machine or cafeteria, when was the last time you revised what is on offer? If junk food is easily accessible, then your efforts to promote healthy eating in the workplace may hit a snag before they can take off.

Provide health snacks- If your company provides snacks and treats for employees to eat during tea and lunch breaks, then you can start sneaking in more and more healthy foods and superfoods for energy.

Effective Ways to Educate Your Employees

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Employee awareness campaigns can be an effective way to educate your workforce about the importance of having healthy food to eat at work and home. You can deploy a range of methods to get the message across. These include campaigns to increase water consumption, health and wellness newsletter, competitions, and fun challenges to keep the intended audience engaged.

The more practical information you can provide about healthy food to eat at work, the better equipped your employees are going to be to make some changes in their lives. It is also a good way to improve employees’ physical wellbeing. This information includes how to reduce the amount of junk food consumed, how to pack nutritious home-cooked meals, healthy snack options like beans, nuts, and fruits, and the importance of eating a healthy breakfast each morning.

One of the best ways to deliver a message of healthy eating at work, especially when you are in a position of influence, is to lie by the same ethos you are promoting. If you are on a mission of encouraging healthy eating at work in your company, then you have to start with yourself.

Health and Wellness in the Workplace

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Besides educating your team about healthy eating at work, there are other things you can do to promote improved health and wellbeing among everyone who works in your company. Exercise, mental health awareness, and a conducive office setup are all areas that can help your employees thrive at work and in their personal lives and create a productive work environment. Investing in each of these areas can yield some tangible long-term benefits for your company. With a happier and healthier team, you can expect increased productivity and motivation as well as reduced turnover and disengagement.

If you want your workers to thrive, one of the major changes you can make is to revisit the office arrangements and the type of office furniture in use. You want to target an ergonomic office setup to make sure that the offices are designed with the employees in mind. Perhaps you need to consider an open-plan office or revert to a cubicle arrangement, depending on what works best for your business. There are many more ways to improve employee physical wellbeing and supporting mental health in the workplace, including making your offices a place that fosters more creativity.

Many office workers complain about backaches, neck aches, and uncomfortable furniture. Sitting in the same position for most of the day can take its toll on someone's health through the course of their working career. Ergonomic office chairs and office standing desks can help to make the office space more comfortable and supportive of good health and posture. This furniture might cost a little more than standard office furniture, but with office furniture bulk order options, you can revamp your entire office for a discounted price.

Conclusion

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It takes some planning and effort to start healthy eating at work. There’s a lot you can do to help your team prioritize bringing healthy food to eat at work. The benefits of these steps, together with a complete health and wellness awareness campaign can lead to significant progress within the whole company.

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