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10 tips for eating healthy at work: avoiding poor diet at the office and home workplace

encourage employees to eat healthy at work

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Table of contents:

1. Introduction

2. Ways to encourage your employees to eat healthy at work: office and home workspace

2.1 Provide healthy options in the cafeteria

2.2 Educate and raise awareness

2.3 Collaborate with local restaurants

2.4 Organise healthy potlucks or catered meals

2.5 Offer subsidies or discounts

2.6 Implement wellness challenges

2.7 Promote healthy vending machine options

2.8 Encourage physical activity breaks

2.9 Lead by example

3. 5 tips for healthy eating at work: healthy employees at the office

3.1 Plan and prepare meals

3.2 Choose nutrient-dense foods

3.3 Stay hydrated

3.4 Practice portion control

3.5 Minimise processed and sugary foods

4. 5 tips for eating healthy at home: nourishing well-being of remote workers

4.1 Set up a dedicated workspace

4.2 Stock your pantry with healthy options

4.3 Create a schedule for regular meals

4.4 Avoid working near the kitchen

4.5 Stay active throughout the day

5. Benefits of eating healthy at work

5.1 Increased productivity

5.2 Reduced absenteeism

5.3 Enhanced employee morale

5.4 Improved return on investment (ROI)

5.5 Decreased healthcare costs

6. Boosting workplace wellness: professional intervention to promote healthy eating at work

Did you know that the workplace has a significant impact on people's eating habits? Yes! Your employees' workplace environment can have a big influence on their health. For instance, even if you offer a healthy eating program, the location where they have their lunch can play a role, too.

According to a study, it was discovered that employees who had an unhealthy diet had a 66% higher likelihood of experiencing decreased productivity compared to those who ate healthy food at work. The foods they ate were whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Similarly, employees who engaged in occasional exercise were 50% more likely to report lower productivity than regular exercisers, and smokers were 28% more likely to experience a decline in productivity than non-smokers.

It is important that your employees consume nutritious food at work (home and office) because it directly impacts their productivity and overall well-being. 

Ways to encourage your employees to eat healthy at work: office and home workspace

Provide healthy options in the cafeteria

One effective way to encourage healthy living when it comes to eating and working is to provide a variety of healthy options in the cafeteria. By offering nutritious choices like fresh fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products, employees have easy access to wholesome meals and snacks. 

Including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options caters to various dietary preferences and ensures everyone can make nutritious choices that align with their needs. Providing a diverse selection of nutritious foods for your workers not only promotes physical well-being but also cultivates a positive food culture within the workplace.

Educate and raise awareness

Educating your employees about healthy eating habits at work and the importance of nutrition empowers them to make informed decisions. Conduct workshops, seminars, or webinars on balanced diets, portion control, mindful eating, and the impact of nutrition on overall health. Share resources like newsletters, articles, or infographics featuring nutritious recipes and meal-planning tips. By fostering an environment of education and awareness, employees are empowered to make healthy choices at work and in their personal lives.

Collaborate with local restaurants

collaborating with restaurants encourages healthy diet

As mentioned in the introduction, it would be useless to conduct wellness programs if your employees enjoy eating out for lunch. Consider establishing partnerships with nearby restaurants to encourage them to offer special discounts or customised nutritious meal options for your employees. 

This collaboration can create a win-win situation, where your employees can access healthy meals at a reduced cost, and the restaurants benefit from increased business.

Organise healthy potlucks or catered meals

Encouraging nutritious food choices can be achieved by organising potluck events or offering catered meals that focus on nutritious options. By setting a theme for the potluck or working with catering services prioritising nutritious ingredients, you can ensure that employees can access various wholesome dishes. 

This not only promotes healthy eating at work but also creates a supportive environment where your employees can share and discover healthy recipes, try new nutritious foods, and exchange ideas for healthier eating habits.

Offer subsidies or discounts

discounts encourage employees to get healthy food

Providing subsidies or discounts on nutritious food options can greatly incentivise your employees to make healthier choices. Just like collaborating with restaurants, you can also collaborate with cafes or food delivery services to negotiate special rates or discounts on nutritious meals. 

This encourages your employees to opt for healthier alternatives while making it more affordable and accessible for them. Additionally, you can consider offering subsidies on purchases made at grocery stores or online platforms focusing on delivering fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins, and other nutritious food items.

Implement wellness challenges

Wellness challenges promote healthy habits and encourage your employees to prioritise their well-being. You can include activities like step competitions, fitness challenges, or group exercise classes, as well as nutrition-focused challenges such as tracking daily fruit and vegetable intake or participating in a healthy recipe contest. 

Setting specific goals and offering incentives or rewards for participation and achievement can create motivation and excitement among employees to adopt and maintain healthy behaviours. These challenges improve employees' physical health and foster team-building and a sense of camaraderie as colleagues support and cheer each other on.

Promote healthy vending machine options

Promote healthy vending machine options to impact employees' food choices positively. Stock the vending machines with healthy options, including fresh fruits, granola bars, yoghurt cups, whole-grain crackers, and unsalted nuts. Clear signage and labelling can help your staff easily identify these healthier alternatives to sugary snacks and unhealthy processed foods. 

Encourage physical activity breaks

Encouraging physical activity breaks is crucial for promoting a healthy work environment. By providing opportunities for your workers to engage in short bursts of exercise or movement throughout the workday, you support their well-being. 

These breaks, whether stretching, walking, or quick exercise routines, help them improve their physical fitness, reduce sedentary behaviour, and boost energy levels. 

physical activity breaks help employees stay fit

You need to learn about the risks of sitting diseases your employees are facing. Read our blog that explains the dangers of prolonged sitting and how to prevent them.

Lead by example

Setting a positive example is key to promoting healthy habits at work. As an employer, you can lead the way by making healthy food selections and keeping active. When you show your team that you prioritise your own health, you inspire them to do the same. Whether opting for nutritious options during office lunches or snacking on fresh fruits and veggies, incorporating healthy food into your routine can make a big impact. 

The following sections are some practical tips on how to eat healthy at work. Share these tips with your team and encourage them to incorporate them into their routines. 

As a manager, you can lead the way by demonstrating the importance of healthy eating through your own choices.

5 tips for healthy eating at work: healthy employees at the office

Plan and prepare meals

Taking the time to plan and prepare your meals in advance can significantly impact your overall eating habits. By planning your meals for the week, you can ensure that you have nutritious options readily available, reducing the temptation to rely on unhealthy takeout or fast food. 

Prepare nutritious meals at home using fresh ingredients, and consider packing your lunch to bring to work. This allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes, making it easier to choose healthier food.

Choose nutrient-dense foods

nutrient-dense food is necessary for workers

Have you ever wondered why reaching for that bag of chips or candy bar leaves you feeling sluggish and craving more? That's because processed snacks often contain added sugars, unhealthy fats, and empty calories that can zap your energy and leave you wanting more. 

By opting for nutrient-dense foods, you're giving your body the nourishment it craves and setting yourself up for success. Think of delicious fruits and veggies, lean proteins like grilled chicken or tofu, nourishing whole grains, and healthy fats from avocados or nuts. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals and keep you satisfied and focused throughout the day.

Stay hydrated

We all know it. Staying hydrated is a key aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and it's just as important when you're at the office. Drinking enough water throughout the day helps to regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, support digestion, and transport nutrients to cells. Not only does adequate hydration benefit your physical health, but it also has a positive effect on your mental clarity and focus, which are crucial for productivity in the workplace.

Practice portion control

Practising portion control is an essential aspect of maintaining a proper diet, even when you're at work. It involves being mindful of how much food you consume and ensuring you're not overeating. Paying attention to portion sizes can prevent overindulgence, keep a proper weight, and support your well-being.

One way to practise portion control is by using smaller plates or bowls to serve your meals. This simple trick can create an optical illusion that makes your portions appear larger, helping you feel satisfied with less food. 

portion control maintains proper diet

Minimise processed and sugary foods

Processed foods are loaded with bad additives, preservatives, and high sodium levels, while sugary foods cause energy crashes and weight gain and other health issues.

Instead of looking for processed snacks like chips, cookies, or candy bars, opt for healthier alternatives. Choose nutritious, whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that provide essential nutrients and fibre. 

5 tips for eating healthy at home: nourishing well-being of remote workers

Some employees find it challenging to eat while working, as it can lead to distractions and less mindful eating. But when working at home, they can create a more relaxed environment and enjoy their meals with greater focus.

Below are ideas for maintaining a proper diet while working from home.

Set up a dedicated workspace

Creating a dedicated workspace at home is not only essential for productivity but also for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. You can designate a specific area in your home where you can focus on work, away from distractions. Having a dedicated workspace allows you to establish a healthy routine for meals and snacks.

Ensure your workspace is ergonomically set up with a comfortable chair, proper desk height, and good lighting to support your physical well-being. To achieve it, check out our blog about ergonomic desk setups.

Stock your pantry with healthy options

employees should stock pantry with healthy options

When working from home, it's important to stock your pantry with various healthy options to support your well-being and make nutritious choices easily accessible. Fill your pantry with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta, which provide essential nutrients and fibre. Avoid buying only sugary and processed snacks! They'll just mess with your productivity.

Create a schedule for regular meals

Setting a schedule for regular meals is a simple but effective way to keep your eating habits on track. Plan ahead and decide when you'll have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don't forget to include some nutritious snacks in between to keep your energy levels up. 

A consistent meal schedule helps you stay focused and productive throughout the day. So, make it a habit to stick to your meal times and give your body the nutritious food it needs to perform at its best.

Avoid working near the kitchen

Try setting up your workspace away from the kitchen to avoid constant temptations and mindless snacking. When you're close to food, it's easy to get carried away and reach for unhealthy options out of boredom or stress.

Instead, plan and prepare nutritious foods you can enjoy during designated break times. This simple adjustment can help you stay on track with your healthy eating goals and create a more productive work environment.

Stay active throughout the day

Eating well at work is great, but you must also prioritise staying active throughout the day to optimise your overall health. While healthy food choices nourish your body, regular physical activity provides additional benefits that complement your healthy eating habits. Take short breaks to stretch, walk around, or do light exercises to get your blood flowing and boost your energy levels.

Benefits of eating healthy at work

Increased productivity

proper diet helps increase productivity

Eating healthy at work has some great benefits for your productivity. Nutrient-packed foods provide the fuel your brain needs to stay focused and alert. They also help maintain steady energy levels, avoiding crashes from sugary snacks. So, by choosing to eat healthy food at work, you'll boost your productivity and feel your best!

Reduced absenteeism

Eating healthy at work can help you cut down on sick days! When you nourish your body with nutritious food, you boost your immune system, making it stronger and more resilient. Plus, a healthy diet is also good for your mental well-being, reducing stress and anxiety.

Enhanced employee morale

Offering healthy food can contribute to the overall well-being of employees because nutrient-dense meals can enhance cognitive function and mood and reduce stress levels, leading to elevated productivity and a more positive work environment.

Improved return on investment (ROI)

Investing in healthy food options for employees can Investing in healthy food options for employees can yield a greater return on investment (ROI). By providing nutritious meals and snacks, you can attain various benefits, such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and decreased healthcare costs. Your workers may experience fewer sick days, be more focused and energised at work, and require less medical intervention.

Decreased healthcare costs

eating healthy decreases healthcare costs

Focusing on healthy food options can decrease healthcare costs for employers and employees. By promoting a culture of wellness through nutritious meals and snacks, employees are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, manage chronic conditions, and reduce the risk of developing preventable diseases. As a result, healthcare expenses associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other lifestyle-related conditions can be significantly reduced. 

Ergonomics also plays an important role when it comes to healthcare costs. If you want to learn more about it with the help of professionals, book a session with our Ergonomic Trainings today.

​​Boosting workplace wellness: professional intervention to promote healthy eating at work

Encourage nutritious eating at work by providing nutritious cafeteria options, educating employees, implementing a wellness policy, organising nutritious potlucks, offering subsidies, and promoting wellness challenges. Also, promote healthy vending machine choices, encourage physical activity breaks, and lead by example as employers.

encouraging employees to eat healthy improves ROI

We have also discussed simple ways to eat healthy at work, whether at the office or at the home workspace. If you and your employees incorporate those strategies in your work life, you don't just become physically and mentally healthy. Your business can also benefit from your overall well-being.

You can optimise your wellness programs if you let professionals provide guidance and support. Contact us and inquire about our Wellness Event Organisation for interesting and interactive wellness activities!