Research from the Global Burden of Disease study has found that unhealthy diets are responsible for 11 million preventable deaths globally per year, more even than smoking tobacco.
Physical inactivity and poor diets are two major causes of ill health in UK and Irish employees. If left unmanaged, unhealthy employees can harm an organisations performance, profitability and workplace wellbeing.
As part of their duty of care towards their team members, proactive employers should seize the opportunity to promote healthy eating and offer creative ways to encourage their people to live healthier lifestyles. Here’s why...
Cost of unhealthy employees
It’s no surprise that employing an unhealthy workforce can have negative effects on the performance of an organisation. In fact, according to the 2019 Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey, health-related lost productivity costs the UK economy an estimated £91 billion.
While in Ireland, figures from Ibec estimate that absenteeism costs organisations €1.5 billion a year, or €818 per employee.
Promoting healthy eating habits at work
Creating a healthier working environment for your team can be a complex project to undertake. Here, we have listed a few tips on how to promote healthy eating in the workplace and give your team a wellbeing boost...
- Make healthy food readily available: Avoid making unhealthy snacks available. Instead, provide healthier alternatives that help boost energy and increase brainpower. Examples include fruits, nuts and vegetable crisp alternatives. This could be rolled out in canteens and other communal areas.
- Lunch breaks: Encouraging your people to take their full lunch break away from their desk/workstation will allow them to enjoy a leisurely healthy lunch if they wish. This will avoid the risk of them opting for convenience over healthy options.
- Educate: Circulate promotional materials (either physical posters or digitally) about the benefits of healthy eating at work, as well as lunch suggestions. Make it an on-going feature by asking your teams to contribute recipe ideas!
- Lead by example: Change starts from the top, so it’s vital that senior staff members demonstrate the habits that you want to see within your team. Whether it’s eating away from their workspace, encouraging conversations about wellbeing or promoting your internal incentives, your senior members’ influence will go a long way.
Benefits of a healthy workplace
- Improved productivity: Healthier employees have higher energy levels, increased engagement and boosted morale. A study from Brigham Young University discovered that employees who eat healthier are 25% more likely to have increased performance throughout their day.
- Reduced absenteeism: In the UK and Ireland, roughly 145 million working days are lost per year due to absenteeism. A healthy workforce will contribute less sickness-related absences, saving your organisation money and boosting productivity.
- Recruitment: By investing in your employees’ health and wellbeing, your organisation will soon become a more attractive place to work for potential employees. Not only will you attract the best talent, but you will also retain your key team members as well.
Simply put, healthier employees are happier employees. By cultivating a culture of wellbeing in your workplace, you will soon reap the benefits of a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.
If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:
UK: 0844 892 2493
ROI: 01 886 0324