Nutrition. Why Is It A Key Component To Corporate Wellness?
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The well-being of employees is paramount as they are the building blocks of your organisation and if they are healthy, they will be more efficient and productive and your organisation will grow at a greater speed.
Nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy and happy life and a key to the success of an organisation. If you are wondering how what you eat impacts your workplace or your organization, think again. The bottom line is that we end up spending several hours a day at the workplace and if you are surrounded by unhealthy food choices (read aerated drink vending machines, chocolate and ice cream vendors, etc.) chances are you will end up eating a lot of food that serves no nutritional purpose and will become sick and obese. The well-being of employees is paramount as they are the building blocks of your organisation and if they are healthy, they will be more efficient and productive and your organisation will grow at a greater speed.
Why focus on nutrition?
It is a well-known fact that we are what we eat. So if we gorge on unhealthy food it is likely to show up in the form of diseases. A number of chronic diseases have been linked to poor eating habits, including high-blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and the like which, in turn, lead to a higher degree of absenteeism and loss of productivity within an organisation. There are several types of cancer that are also linked to poor diet, including stomach and oesophagus cancer, especially if one’s diet is low on fibre, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy. The other concern is of course obesity which is a silent killer and is a result of poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle.
How to do you focus on nutrition?
While it is not always possible for an organisation to put together a viable corporate wellness programme, with a special focus on nutrition, there are small steps that an organisation can take to ensure that its employees eat well while at work. It has been found that when employees exercise and eat well they are better motivated and more productive as well. If there are a large number of people who don’t carry lunch from home and end up eating at the workplace it would make sense to have a food committee in place that would create menus and get vendors who are in sync with their vision of what qualifies as healthy food.
Organisations need to avoid counters that sell processed foods in their cafeteria and keep fast food to a minimum. Nutrition at the workplace requires a fair bit of research to see what foods increase productivity and how best to package and sell them in the office canteen or café so as to ensure that people make the right food choices. If one has a fruit juice or milkshake counter, another selling salads, and a third selling simple home-cooked meals, it automatically cuts down on the unhealthy choices one makes when one is hungry and stuck at work. While you cannot force employees to eat what you want, ensuring that there are more or less healthy choices surrounding them is enough of a motivator and works well to push them in the right direction, reducing junk coming their way at work at least.
Along with a sound nutrition programme at the workplace in terms of what’s available in the canteen, workshops to create awareness about diet and health and a gym within the office also goes a long way in sending out the message that the organisation cares about the well-being of its employees and believes that health and fitness should be among their top priorities.