Keynote speaker and owner of SR Nutrition, Charlotte Stirling-Reed, gives an insight into the importance of healthy eating at work and its long-term effects.
Few of us spend much time thinking about the ways in which our health and food intake is affected by our work. For most of us, up to 60% of our waking hours are spent at work and at least one third of our meals are consumed during the working day.
"The work we do and our choices of food eaten at work, affect our calorie and nutrient intake, cumulatively affecting our long-term health."
For employers as well as employees, workplace nutrition and health are important topics for consideration, especially if we want to keep well and enhance productivity. The energy we get from our food impacts our day-to-day abilities and can help to boost levels of concentration, improve memory and even help to develop and heighten our problem-solving skills. Ensuring we eat both the right amount and the right types of food can also go some way to improving mood and reducing stress and fatigue which are estimated to be responsible for around 13.3 million working days lost each year!
The food we eat also plays a significant role in affecting our risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and obesity. For example, for an organisation employing around 1,000 members of staff, obesity alone could be costing around £126,000 a year in lost productivity.
This highlights the benefits that improving the health and well-being of employees could have to a workplace. There is no question that a healthier and happier workforce is certainly a more effective and productive one.
Therefore we need to pay more attention to our health and importantly, our food intake, at work. This is especially essential in tough times such as these, where we are often expected to work longer hours, with a reduced workforce and with a seemingly ever-expanding retirement age.Keeping ourselves fit and healthy can reap rewards for us as individuals but also for our colleagues, our clients and our employers.