Change your work-time eating habits to become happier, healthier and more productive
We often think of food in terms of calories, fad diets and the latest trends, but eating is about so much more than this. Food is not only a means to fuel the body, it also helps to bring people together and is vital for our health and wellbeing.
By implementing healthy eating policies at work and supporting healthier food choices, employers and employees can improve productivity and performance. Nutritional therapist, Dr Christy Fergusson provides her 5 top tips for workplace food choices.
1. Take the 80-20 break
Productivity does not equate to how long employees slave at their desks. Workers should schedule regular breaks to leave their desk and get some fresh air or a small snack. Businesses are increasingly citing the ‘80-20 rule’ which states that 20 per cent of a worker’s time should be used to produce 80 per cent of all results. By taking regular breaks, you can not only decrease your stress levels, but also increase your concentration and productivity later in the day.
2. Feed your brain
Your brain can’t store glucose, so you need to give it a fresh supply every 3 to 4 hours otherwise you will find your mood and concentration will dip. By choosing low glycaemic fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, you can replenish the brain’s glucose supply. Fresh berries contain fructose along with fibre and antioxidants, allowing their natural sugars to release slowly into your bloodstream, which helps to keep your mood and energy levels steady throughout the day.
3. Make time for breakfast
Long commutes and hectic morning schedules mean that we are often left grabbing breakfast on-the-go, or eating at the office desk. However, the first meal of the day is incredibly important for productivity, as it moves the body out of its sleep-friendly state into wakefulness. Companies should encourage workers to make time for breakfast by offering healthy options such as fresh berries, nuts, oats, and yoghurt in the office, or by providing facilities for employees to make breakfast at work.
4. Create a relaxed environment
Busy schedules can leave workers eating lunch at their desk, creating an unsociable environment. More and more offices are recognising the need for a social space, creating a relaxed atmosphere for staff in which they can eat together. This encourages openness and honesty in a laid-back setting. This will help to improve morale and communication between employees once they are back at their desk.
5. Revolutionise meetings
When people are cooped up in meetings all day, productivity can nose-dive. If tea and sugary biscuits are the only items on offer, it can be difficult to resist nibbling away unconsciously. Implementing a ‘healthy meeting policy’ by offering a punnet of fresh berries – which are low in sugar and high in nutrients – can supercharge your concentration levels in preparation for the rest of the day.
Dr Christy Fergusson – seasonalberries.co.uk