Healthy eating and productivity. Are they linked?

by | Mar 5, 2021 | Work Wellbeing | 0 comments

Most individuals do not consider their productivity levels when snacking at their desk or taking a quick trip to the vending machine. Ron Friedman (2014) of Harvard Business Review states that food has a direct impact on our mental performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon. Next time you feel exhausted or drained for an entire afternoon, think about the foods you consumed that day.

A 2012 study in Population Health Management found that nearly 7 out of 10 employees who ate an unhealthy diet were more likely to experience a loss in productivity than their counterparts who regularly consumed fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (Merrill et al, 2012). It is important for employers to get involved; the UK HRM Guide (2012) provides several tips to employers to increase productivity levels:

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Promote healthy alternatives

Employers could put nutritious snacks in a central location and inform staff that treats are available.
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Provide things that are easy to eat

Hand-held snacks like dried fruit or trail mix for example.
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Change the meeting line-up

swap out the usual goodies with fruit and more vitamin-enriched foods that will fight fatigue, anxiety and stress, and help leave employees feeling good long after the meeting is over.
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Avoid dehydration

Companies should ensure water is easily accessible to employees
More tips and information:

Friedman, R. (2014, October 17). What You Eat Affects Your Productivity. Retrieved March 10, 2016 https://hbr.org/2014/10/what-you-eat-affects-your-productivity

HRM Guide – Healthy Eating Key to Workplace Productivity. (2012, March 2). Retrieved March 10, 2016 http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/health/healthy-eating.htm

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