Healthy Workplace Habits
The health of employees impacts their ability to perform and contribute to the workplace. When they are well-nourished and healthy, their physical and mental well-being is enhanced. Good health reduces absenteeism and increases productivity in the workplace.
Healthy eating is an important part of workplace wellness. Research shows that the eating environment can affect both what and how much people eat.
There are several things you can do to help promote a healthy eating environment.
Create healthy eating spaces that include seating, cooking equipment such as microwaves, refrigerator, cutting utensils, sink and a clean cooking surface.
Work with cafeterias on ensuring they are meeting Canada’s Food Guidelines: Reduce saturated fats, salt and sugar, eat more vegetables and fruit and more plant-based proteins and choose more whole grains. Offer smaller portions such as ½ sandwiches. Price healthy food options competitively. Display nutrition information to help consumers make healthy food choices.
Look at vending machine foods and beverages and ensure they are following the guidelines as well. Remove pop and sugar sweetened beverages and offer water and unsweetened beverages instead.
Create policies around catered meetings and workplace celebrations that encourage and support sharing healthy foods. Offer water as the main beverage.
Brainstorm and get feedback from employees about areas they feel need to be addressed.
Lead by example.
Educate and increase awareness of healthy eating. Hire a registered dietitian to write healthy eating articles for your internal newsletter. Schedule education opportunities such as Lunch and Learn sessions with a registered dietitian for staff to learn about healthy eating, portion sizes and healthy lunches. Hire a registered dietitian to provide one-on-one nutrition counselling. Check to see if these services are covered by your employee extended health insurance plan.
Celebrate success, recognize and encourage participation and provide employee support.