Not looking after yourself in and out of the office is affecting your work ethic, according to new studies. Research by industry body British Summer Fruits showed that employees believe they would have a better mood, more positive work output and have lower stress levels if they were given the opportunity to eat healthier at work.
Around half of meetings across the country are accompanied by the offer of biscuits, while just 8% offer fresh food. As well as a lack of healthy alternatives in the office, many are concerned that they don’t know who to turn to when looking for ways to improve their personal health. 60% of staff surveyed admitted they’d like offices to encourage healthy eating as 50% of employees revealed they turn to unhealthy snacks when stressed.
Over three quarters of employees did not know who to speak to in order to put a healthy eating programme in place in the office. Almost £7.7 billion is spent on NHS treatments that could be avoided if people cut down on fatty and salty foods and ate more fresh fruit and vegetables, with Corporate wellness expert Kate Cook calling for an expansion of corporate well-being initiatives to include free or subsidised fruit.
“In my experience, the companies that have the lowest staff turnover are the ones that really invest in their staff wellbeing, particularly giving them access to great food choices,” said Cook. “Enlightened companies are seeing that introducing fresh fruit into the workplace, such as a punnet of berries for breakfast or for snacking on during meetings, leads to improved concentration, productivity, and a reduction in health problems and work absences.
“Berries have the added benefit of being high in vitamin C and other important anti-oxidants such as flavonoids. Famously nutrient rich, berries are likely to encourage a healthy immune system, which is a great benefit for working people.”