Why nutrition is important to employee wellbeing and performance

We all know that making positive changes to the way we eat can have amazing benefits to our health, our energy and the way we feel. But it can also have a great impact on our performance and productivity at work. When it comes to workplaces, healthier employees are generally more productive, more satisfied with their jobs, take less days off work, and have a lower risk of developing health issues.

When an employee feels their best, they are more likely to be their best at work as well. With so many hours spent at work, organisations have a great opportunity to support their employees on their health and wellbeing journey. Implementing simple workplace nutrition strategies can also help to support a healthy and happy workforce.

Tips on how to promote healthy eating in the workplace:

  1. Allow employees time to have regular meals and snacks to ensure good energy throughout the day.
  2. Include fruit and veggie bowls in the staff room. Fruit and vegetables help boost fibre and promote good gut bacteria – healthy body, healthy mind.
  3. Discourage eating at the desk. Lead by example to encourage mindfulness when eating.
  4. Replace unhealthy snack boxes with healthy snack options like nuts, popcorn, crackers and cheese or yoghurt.
  5. Display and discuss the healthy plate model for meals: ~1/2 plate non-starchy vegetables, ~1/4 plate lean protein, ~1/4 plate good quality carbohydrates.
  6. Provide alternatives to stimulants such as coffee and tea e.g. herbal tea bags.
  7. Get involved in physical activity during work time e.g. walking meetings, lunchtime walking groups, Friday afternoon team sports.
  8. Remember, if you’re a people leader modelling self-care in the office will help your team to follow.

Stay Hydrated
Dehydration affects concentration, reducing productivity. Most of us should aim to drink between 2 to 3 litres of water per day. Supply water jugs or drink bottles and encourage employees to keep these at their desk. Sipping on water frequently throughout the day, rather than when you feel thirsty will ensure you are hydrated.

Source: This is an edited extract from Why nutrition is important to employee wellbeing and performance, available from AFA Care and Benestar, https://benestar.com