A healthy workplace is a prerequisite for health and wellbeing of employees. Public health strategies place increasing emphasis on opportunities to promote healthy behaviours within the workplace setting. Productivity at work can be greatly affected by one's physical and mental health. Many people suffer symptoms such as anxiety, depression, stress, and confused thinking, which influence them in all areas of life including work.
Many people are working at a computer for most of their day, and fresh fruit that requires peeling or cutting can be difficult to eat. Hand-held snacks like dried fruits can be an alternative. This will fight fatigue, anxiety and stress, and leave the employees feeling good, long after a meeting is over.
Wellness programmes are linked to greater productivity, less absenteeism, and a reduction of long-term healthcare costs. Some of these can include steps like offering employees healthy meal and snack options that help fuel their performance while also meeting their nutritional needs. The cafeteria menu in organisations can be reviewed and unhealthy food can be replaced with healthier choices. Tea can be replaced with milk, juice; snack machines can be stocked with nuts, dried fruit, and other healthy options and the office cafeteria can have plenty of healthy meal options.
Regular or continuous stress weakens the immune system, increases and slows the healing process. Foods that are fresh, whole, naturally colourful and rich in nutrients support vitality, energy levels, and improve physical, mental, and emotional health of human beings.
But hardly any time and efforts have been spent on the relationship between diet and productivity or performance in workplace. The business community needs the medical community to integrate wellness into the workplace. A business-medical partnership can open a new path to achieving greater balance between health and workplace productivity.
Workplace health promotion programmes are an efficient approach to improving the health of a relatively large group of individuals because worksite interventions are more convenient and accessible to workers and often less expensive than off-site programmes.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised the workplace as a priority setting for health promotion by highlighting the benefits these can bring for an organisation as well as to its employees.
Employees eat nearly half of their daily meals and snacks at workplaces. This means that what is consumed during working hours can have a great impact on overall diet and health.
Everyone can benefit from a tune-up in nutrition. For example, healthy snacks aid in weight control, improving mood, and by boosting energy.
It is vital that companies focus on making healthy eating choices accessible and affordable. Canteen or cafeteria menus need to be in line with the food group-based dietary guidelines or developed together with a dietician. Drinks and snacks made available at corporate meetings and events should be wholesome and healthy options.
Globally, wellness programmes have become a staple in many corporations as a way to attract top talent, keep them happy and productive, and increase employee turnover. Personal well-being and a stress-free work atmosphere are important aspects for achieving success and productivity at workplaces.
Healthier employees are more productive employees with whose help businesses and organisations can become more profitable.
Fahmida Hashem is the Chief Consulting nutritionist at Miss Nutritionist, a weight management centre.
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