Promoting Healthy Food in the Workplace: The Importance of Healthy Eating at Work

By January 16, 2019H50

Being productive, it all starts with food.

Eating healthy food helps your digestive system function optimally. Consequently, you will sleep better. You’ll be able to concentrate better. Doing your work and daily tasks will become easier.

And frankly, being able to work efficiently and getting things done just makes you feel good.

Simply put, a healthy diet can save you a lot of stress and doctor bills. Prevention is important, and almost always cheaper than recovery.

Now, considering employees spend a lot of time in the office working, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle there as well. Working requires a lot of energy, which makes you feel hungry.

healthy eating at work

Oftentimes, there are so many (unhealthy) temptations to satisfy your cravings. Just think about it. Birthday cake, vending machine snacks, fries in the company cantine… They are readily and easily available.

Employees with healthy eating habits, however, typically experience significant benefits on their physical health. According to the Belgian organization Gezond Leven, healthy eating habits also have a positive impact on your mental health. Employees adopting a healthy lifestyle will experience higher levels of energy, concentration and productivity.

There are many studies and reports out there showing that high consumption of healthy food results in a decreased absenteeism rate, and a positive work environment and team spirit. All that leads, of course, to a positive company image as well.

Now, we’re not saying to ban all sugary snacks from the office completely (although considering it wouldn’t hurt, would it? 🙂 ). Read on to discover why optimizing your food offering and promoting healthy eating at work is of utmost importance for your company’s performance.

The Cost of Unhealthy Employees 

The relationship between work and health is becoming increasingly important according to the Flemish Agency for Care and Health.  

The World Health Organization says that every investment in employee wellbeing will be earned back 2 to 14 fold. Even the World Economic Forum is making “wellbeing” a priority. More and more numbers are warning that by 2020 burnout and depression will become the most important reasons for absenteeism in the workplace.

To give you an idea, a study by Gezond Leven stated that absenteeism costs a Belgian SME €75,252 per year. Investing in your employees’ health definitely pays off.

Where to begin?

89% of Belgians eats less than the recommended two portions of fruit and two portions of veggies a day. The majority of the population has a BMI that is too high, with 29% of Belgians being overweight and 16% being obese. Focusing on healthy eating at work could be a good start!

healthy eating at work

The most recent Food Consumption Survey of 2014-2015 mapped the food consumption, eating habits and physical activity levels of the Belgian population (age 3 to 64). The conclusions from the study were that more needs to be done to

  • Promote and encourage healthy eating habits
  • Optimize the nutritional quality of our food products
  • Encourage physical activity and discourage a sedentary lifestyle

Belgians indicated that they wanted to be more informed about what the healthy choices are and were interested in ways to facilitate making these choices.

The study concludes that the healthy option should always be the easiest one. And we agree.

Fruit as a Healthy Snack 

As we all know by now, fruit is a healthy snack. However, a lot of people don’t know that eating a piece of fruit as a dessert, right after lunch, is not good for your productivity. If fruit comes on top of your lunch, it will induce a fermentation process which will leave you feeling bloated.

healthy eating at work

On the positive side: having a piece of fruit 30 minutes before your lunch or two hours after will have a positive effect on your body and will result in productivity improvement in the long run. If you’re looking for healthy foods that give you energy: blueberries are full of anthocyanins which raise the oxygen levels in your blood resulting in a boost for your brain and memory!

If you don’t enjoy eating fruit (in general or at your desk in particular) then smoothies can be a good alternative. There are many smoothie mixes available these days. Smoothies can offer more variation as well as a large amount of vitamins. Smoothies can be quite expensive sometimes, though, and, like juice, they can sometimes contain lots of calories and sugar. It’s important to check the food label and to consume smoothies with moderation. In contrast to pre-prepared smoothies, Alberts Smoothies are made on the spot with fresh ingredients which eliminates the need for concentrates, added sugars and other additives (such as juices, purees, syrups and powders).

An automated solution such as the Alberts Smoothie Station can be an excellent way to encourage healthy snacking habits at work at no cost to you. Your employees can personalize their smoothie just the way they like it and see all the nutritional information of their smoothie in one simple overview.

One Alberts Smoothie a day accounts for almost half the required daily amount of fruit and veggies. It comes with loads of vitamins, it hydrates, and comes with no additives whatsoever. It’s a great boost for your employees’ body and brain, and they’ll love the innovative character of the smoothie vending machine.

Interested to learn more about how we can promote healthy eating habits with you?

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  • […] The raised health awareness in our modern day society has sparked an urgent demand from employees from all over the world. More of them want help achieving their individual health goals, also in the workplace. This request from the workforce in combination with the new law and government policies has made you, as a business leader, understand the impact of an unhealthy employee on company profits. […]