Proper nutrition in the workplace almost sounds like some sort of paradox doesn’t it? I mean honestly, how many workplaces can you think of off the top of your head where people are eating healthfully at? I would sincerely hope that those working in the medical professions would be at least one place where nutrition plays a key role in the foods eaten on the job, but I have a suspicion they are just as vulnerable to eating junk as everyone else is, even though they of all people should truly know better.
Not having the right nutrition in the workplace is costing many countries on average about twenty percent or more in lost productivity, either with malnutrition that plagues about one billion people living in developing countries, or problems with being overweight or even obese that plagues roughly the same amount of people in industrial countries. Approximately one out of every six people in the world is malnourished, overweight or obese. Those are some very seriously disturbing numbers in regards to the role nutrition is playing in so many lives today.
In the United States alone, over two-thirds of the people are overweight which equates into over fifty one billion dollars worth of medical expenses, lost work productivity of over three billion dollars, over thirty nine million lost work days, over two hundred million restricted activity days, nearly ninety million bed-ridden days and on average a staggering sixty two million doctor visits. Just in the United States, the annual costs for businesses in regards to obesity for medical insurance, paid sick time and other health-related payments is close to thirteen billion dollars. Finding ways to incorporate nutrition in the workplace is indeed a very serious matter.
“So how on earth do you start introducing nutrition in the workplace?” you may be asking yourself. You more than likely live a fast-paced, very busy life, so finding the time to really think through what to shop for at the grocery store or health food store to prepare nutritious meals can be challenging to say the least.
There is also the cost involved in proper meal planning which as most people know can be a large part of your hard-earned paycheck each week. Planning is the important word in all of this to allow for a healthier diet, particularly the meals and snacks that will be eaten at your place of employment (or at home if you happen to work for yourself.)
Whoever it was that said not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach was certainly one very wise person, as this can allow for purchasing many unhealthy impulse items that you may regret later on. Always go shopping on a full stomach and with a well thought out list of all the healthy foods you will need to not only eat great away from work, but also to allow for nutrition in the workplace, which will more than likely not be found in your break room’s vending machines.
Some vending machines may have some decent choices, but many have rather poor choices that can take a good chunk of change out of your hard-earned money while giving you mostly sugar, fat and salt in return. Vending machines alone can make nutrition in the workplace a challenge. One example is a small bag of chocolate chip cookies with approximately three hundred calories and sixteen fat grams in a tiny two ounce bag. Another example is a small bag of potato chips with roughly the same amount of calories in them and much closer to twenty fat grams, again in just a tiny two ounce bag. I don’t think I even want to know the stats on other options such as ho-ho’s, cupcakes, candy bars and grease-covered glazed donuts. If you’re lucky enough to have sodas in twelve ounce cans (most are in twenty ounce bottles) you are looking at 140 calories and nine teaspoonfuls of sugar in just one can of Coke. You could quite easily eat a whole day’s worth of calories in one trip to your workplace’s vending machine and get barely anything of nutritional value from it. Nutrition in the workplace is indeed a challenge especially due to poor choices in vending machines, but by planning ahead you can enjoy healthy meals and snacks at work. It is a health and safety at work issues!
Proper nutrition in the workplace starts with you. Bringing your own meals and even snacks will save you a lot of money and be beneficial to your health and work performance as well. Some people still go by the old standard of eating three meals per day, while some are leaning now towards four to six smaller meals while others are opting for three meals intermingled with three low-calorie healthy snacks.
Eating smaller more frequent meals helps keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel which can in turn help keep your moods stabilized. This can make for a happier workplace without the extreme highs and lows caused from poor food choices or going too long without eating, a simple but effective stress managment technique. Some people think that skipping their breaks and meals at work makes them look like a better employee, when in reality it makes them less productive and possibly quite moody and hard to work with. Plan ahead, think through what healthy foods you would really enjoy at work, and make finding ways to enjoy nutrition in the workplace a sort of fun challenge. Start today!