Workplace nutrition and productivity
Following on from my last post about snacking at work and my own experience, I thought I would look deeper into the evidence behind nutrition interventions in the workplace and how they can improve productivity.
The UK is number 6 in the G7 for productivity which is disappointing however it has been found in the research that we, in the UK, spend only 2 hours and 53 mins of the working day being productive at work so it’s not a big surprise! (www.4and20million.co.uk)
If we work full time then the food we eat at work generally equates to 60% of our daily intake. So why don't we invest in the food we eat at work the same way we do out of work. In the current climate, many employees feel they must work longer hours and even skip breaks to maintain their position or progress at work. But what is this really doing to our health?
Employees that work through lunch without taking an adequate break may suffer from low blood sugar levels and this may lead to them opting for vending machine snacks (which can be high in calories). We already know that regular eating patterns can help improve concentration and reduce fatigue and anxiety (BDA, Work Ready), so it’s no surprise that promoting and encouraging staff to take breaks and to eat a healthy meal can lead to a more productive workforce. Nutrition interventions can impact on not just physical but also our mental well-being. When you don’t eat enough nutrient-rich foods, your body may lack vital vitamins and minerals which can affect your mood and brain function. (BDA, Food and Mood)
Research suggests that productivity can be increased by 1-2% when a nutrition intervention is implemented (BDA, Work Ready). Although this sounds small, this can equate to £126,000 a year in lost productivity through sickness linked with obesity. Nutrition intervention examples may include using multi-level approaches for example, a seminar on a health and well-being day and subsequent changes in catering to support its content or electronic contacts with staff following face to face sessions.
Get in touch to see how Care4Nutrition can help you implement an evidence-based nutrition intervention to improve health and increase productivity in your workplace.