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Workplace Wellness Programs That Deliver: Promoting Healthy Eating In The Workplace

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Find out more about nutritionist Jo Majithia and healthy-eating expert Jen Roach

What we eat makes a difference to how we think, behave, and perform. If you boost your employees’ desire and ability to eat healthily at work, you’ll also be boosting their wellbeing, productivity, and performance. Healthy employees have lower risk of illness and disease and are less likely to take sick days.

In an office environment it can be hard to resist cake or jammy doughnuts! If everyone is making healthy choices, an occasional treat isn’t a problem.

The post-lunch slump is generally viewed as an unfortunate but unavoidable part of the workday. Even those who are aware of the role nutrition plays often struggle to eat healthily at work. Our resistance to snacks weakens dramatically after midday. The later it is in the day, the more likely the human brain will put junk food into the same category as holidays and pots of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Investing in your employees and their nutritional wellbeing

Employees often suffer from digestive issues at work that they put down to the stress of work itself. However, what we eat influences the amount of stress on our bodies. Chronic stress has been linked to mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and much more. Constant sugar highs and lows and the overconsumption of caffeine and highly processed, fatty foods all take their toll.

Investing in your employees and their nutritional wellbeing shows them you care – and you benefit from the results too. As a Harvard Business Review article notes, ‘the trick to eating right is not learning to resist temptation. It’s making healthy eating the easiest possible option’.

Promoting healthy eating in the workplace will help employees combat stress, optimise digestion, improve concentration, manage weight more effectively, and moderate energy levels. It’s not about slaving away in the kitchen; it’s about finding practical ways to eat well and planning.

What prevents employees eating healthily at work?

  • Lack of education – resources about nutrition are everywhere. However, sometimes you just need things explained in easy-to-understand terms and to be given tangible ways to achieve healthier eating in the workplace.

  • Lack of options: employees’ options might be limited due to ignorance or the accessibility of healthier foods.

  • Lack of planning: sometimes all it takes is knowledge and forethought. It is simple to choose the easy, unhealthy option.

  • Lack of time: it is easy to feel you lack time to eat well, especially with deadlines and targets to meet. Junk food is quick and readily available.

  • Cost: healthy food options often cost more. Knowing how to make low-cost, nutritious meals can make all the difference.

  • Lack of motivation and support: if healthy eating and employee wellbeing is not encouraged or rewarded by an employer, it can be hard for employees to feel motivated enough to make those choices themselves.

Avoiding common digestive complaints

Digestive symptoms are extremely common in the workplace, particularly bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, constipation, flatulence, diarrhoea, nausea, heartburn, and reflux. If we don’t consume enough whole, plant-based foods with sufficient vitamins, minerals, fibre, and diversity, our gut flora - or microbiome – won't flourish.

Top tips for improving digestion:

  • De-stress before eating by using breathing techniques or taking a walk

  • Have regular meal times

  • Chew your food thoroughly

  • Keep hydrated by limiting caffeinated drinks to three per day and minimising alcohol and fizzy drinks

Lunchtime healthy-eating workshops to optimise energy and concentration

If you are juggling work, commuting, and family life, it’s likely that nutrition in the workplace is low on your list of priorities. In our workshops employees learn practical, fun ways to improve their health. They will learn how and why to make better food choices throughout their workday and get simple, healthy workplace snack and lunch ideas they can confidently recreate at home.

Find out more about how you can improve your employees’ health, vitality, productivity, and morale with our workplace healthy-eating workshop.


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