With burgers and french fries being the coolest kids in the house, who even looks at those greeny leafy things in that bowl in the corner? Despite knowing the number of calories, junk food contains, we tend to be drawn more towards them. In today’s world, diseases are growing at an exponential rate. Every other house has someone or the other struggling with diabetes, obesity, and whatnot. This gives rise to the need for healthy eating habits.
That new fast food joint might sell wraps at a reasonable price, yet it is not worth affecting your body. Also, a balanced diet comes with increased productivity and a fit body. As evident it is, the employees do lead a sedentary lifestyle, with technology making daily tasks easier. And amid work stress, they do not even consider their health to be a priority, for neither do they get ample time to pack some healthy lunch for work, nor there is enough fitness motivation pushing them to work out.
This is why, employers must encourage employees to focus on fitness through exercises, 7-minute workout sessions, diet, and nutrition, along with implementing corporate wellness programs.
And here we are pouring you with some fantastic ideas to be implemented in workplaces for getting your employees to develop healthy dietary habits:
Make employees leave their seats during lunch hours
Lunches are often eaten ‘al desk amid work stress. Employees rarely take a break from their screens, which puts a lot of strain on the eyes and the entire body. Work-eating deprives the nervous system of attaining a state of ‘rest and digest. And who would want their employees to suffer from digestive issues? Also, eating on desks leads to overeating because we forget to track the food amount we consume while working. But, what could drive the staff towards leaving their chairs? The solution is the presence of relaxing and socializing space in the office for every worker to eat in peace while communicating with the fellow mates.
Turn the Office canteen into a health-centric place
Office canteens can either act as a boon or a curse, for they are likely to provide food- both junk and healthy. With your right motivation to make employees healthy, there is an opportunity to encourage healthy eating habits by introducing food rich in beneficial nutrients. Fibrous, protein-rich food together with low-calorie content options will strictly be the top game. Put the low-calorie point in the limelight and see the changes for yourself, for it will entice employees into adopting healthy dietary habits. Also, if there are available vending machines offering chocolates and crisps, replace them with healthier snack options.
Educate through Lunch and Learns
Lunch and learns are one good way to make employees take up healthy food habits. The topics discussed can be nutrition-centric, which will be of massive benefit for all the staff. From the food that enhances brain power to an immunity-boosting diet, all the facts can be talked upon during the rounds. The more we know, the better. Besides creating healthy food conversations, these are time-effective too. Also, there can be specific recipe workshops, which can drive employees to prepare healthy lunches and snacks and bring them to work.
Ensure employees utilize Full lunch breaks
How long does a lunch break take? 30 to 60 minutes at maximum? Source says 68% of employees do not utilize the complete lunch break, and some do not eat lunch at all. As productive as it may seem with employees constantly working without taking breaks, it is not. Instead, our minds get tired when we keep on going without feeding our stomachs with proper food. Having proper meals makes one charged up. It makes our bodies gear up to face the rest of the day actively.
Resort to Healthier alternatives
Now, building healthy eating habits in employees is a long-term process, meaning it will not happen overnight. Unless, of course, you want to patronize your staff which you do not. This takes time, just like every other good thing. Subtle nudging is the best thing to do- instead of rushing the people, kindly set them in the right direction. Taking one step at a time like removing junk food options from the canteen altogether, for example, pastries is not a good idea but keeping other healthy alternatives alongside like oatcakes is. Forcing to adopt a healthy lifestyle is not helpful; instead, it feels draconian. So, switch to nudge and not a dictatorship.
Make drinking water a priority
Dehydration is a colossal monster eating into one’s mood, memory, and cognitive performance. So, when employees are not drinking water regularly, it will eventually affect their health. And poor health is directly proportional to never-ending errors. Now, does your company have fresh filtered drinking water provisions? Also, offering free reusable water bottles will do a lot of good. With the unending deadlines and stress, we often forget to drink water at all. In times like this, if there were water stations available, they could act as reminders. And for different flavours, you could infuse water with berries and mints for the taste. A hydrated employee is a happy one.
Make Healthy snacks available in the office
Offering morning and evening snacks in the workplace is an underrated benefit that employers should offer. With cakes being one of the most accessible snacks to provide, the healthy diet jumps off the window. In order to do right by the healthy lifestyle, you must resort to more nutritious office snacks- food that balances sugar together with being rich in protein and fibre. This practice would further lead to long-lasting energy and optimal brain function. Fresh fruits, yoghurt, oatcakes with healthy toppings, dark chocolate, and whatnot- there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.
Reward your employees with Healthy Food Items
Rewarding employees with Healthy food items can work like a charm. When implementing office programs and initiatives, you are to assign prizes against them. All you have to do is replace that tray of doughnuts and chocolates with healthy food products, protein bar gift hamper maybe. Trust me, there exists a whole bunch of food items to make your decision easier.
Spread Awareness like wildfire
What do you think about awareness campaigns? Workshops and campaigns talking about healthy food habits should motivate the workforce to adopt a fit lifestyle. These nutrition-focused wellness programs boost employees to make good dietary choices, thereby enhancing mood, performance, and everything. When you offer them enough nutritious knowledge about the food they consume, they will be conscious. The impact will be more if you invite a nutritionist or an experienced speaker to the seminars for giving speeches on a good diet together with one-on-one consultation for every employee. This way, employees get the confidence to speak their heart out who otherwise might be a little hesitant to express publicly. Also, pay attention to the food menu in these events and workshops by giving nutritional themes.
Engage employees through feedback
If the various initiatives taken towards employee well-being fall on deaf ears as it does not go by the employee’s needs, what’s the point? The best to best programs can turn unsuccessful if the workforce does not enjoy them. To develop healthy eating habits in employees through wellness programs, these should fit into their interest arena. In other words, try to involve your employees in the planning and execution, basically how to go with it. Start with anonymous employee surveys by providing pre-program questionnaires maybe. Let them put their opinions and preferences and go along with it. When employees are part of the execution, there will be a sense of responsibility and desire to follow the various nutrition interventions. Hence, purpose served. Also, if the seniors take part in these, others tend to follow that quite easily.
Review meeting snacks beforehand
What is that biscuit or pastry that your catering provider serves during meetings to complement tea/coffee? As good are these for the taste, they are rich in calories and carbohydrates. Thus, all you have to do is talk it out and suggest alternatives such as unsweetened nuts and something protein-ish or rich in plant fiber. And you are done. So, make those meetings health-centric and not about pieces of junk food.
Keep a cinnamon shaker ready
An office is a place where maintaining a healthy diet becomes difficult. Especially for employees with some diseases such as diabetes, things worsen, for managing diabetes at work can be stressful and tiring. However, you as an employer can come to the aid. Cinnamon is a great way to improve glucose metabolism, thereby contributing to the prevention of type 2 diabetes along with being unconventionally sweet. So, if a little gesture as such helps one with their health issues, what else could you ask for?
Share nutritional facts and tips with the workforce
How much fun does one have in knowing a fun fact? To me, it is always exciting and makes me want to learn more. As an employer, sharing fun facts and tips on a healthy diet and lifestyle with your employees will be a great and convenient way to convey the message of living a nutritional lifestyle. Also, why not create some guides containing easy healthy eating tips employees can use. Besides, putting catchy and trending posts on social media will have a considerable impact too, thereby making staff health-conscious because the internet is everyone’s favourite child, and we are big-time believers of whatever we read on the internet. So you may as well utilize it for good.
So, what are you waiting for? Please take note of the points mentioned above and put them to use. Hoping these can prompt your employees to improve their existing dietary behaviours, leading them towards overall well-being over time. Glad we could help.
Do not just eat, sleep and repeat. Instead, Work hard, Sleep well, Eat Healthily, Preach Good and Repeat.