Top tips for staying healthy at work

Rexel - Food for thought

 

Improving staff wellbeing is a broad topic covering many areas. In a previous blog, we explored how workplace wellbeing programs can benefit an organisation’s productivity but another aspect to examine is the impact a healthy lifestyle has on employee efficiency during the working day.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle carries the following benefits:

  • Fewer days of absence
  • Enhanced output at work
  • Reduced amount of work-related stress

To help staff boost their efficiency, here are some tips on how to have a healthy day at work.

Diet

Food is the essential fuel for a working day. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) eating the right foods can boost brainpower by up to 20 per cent. Recommended brain foods include:

  • Berries containing antioxidants that help to improve memory and motor coordination
  • Oil-rich walnuts and avocados that keep cell membranes youthfully flexible
  • Bananas that provide the brain with the glucose it needs

Hydration

Coffee is the drink of choice for many employees to give them that much needed lift during the working day. However, drinking coffee can often result in an energy crash in the middle of the day. The European Union Food Safety Agency (EUFSA) recommends a maximum daily caffeine intake of 400mg for adults, which is the equivalent of 4 espressos.

Consider switching a cup of coffee for a glass of water. In fact:

  • Drinking a pint of water improves brain reaction times by 14 per cent
  • The EUFSA recommends adults drink between 2 – 2.5 litres of water per day
  • An estimated 60 per cent of the human body is water

Standing while you work

Several scientists have advocated the benefits of standing up while at work. Official guidelines from Active Working CIC recommend staff should spend at least two hours of the day standing up to alleviate possible musculoskeletal pain. Additional research by sport and exercise expert Dr John Buckley shows that standing up increases heart rate, meaning more calories are used.

Taking a break

Pausing for a lunch break is essential for the brain to recuperate and prepare for a productive afternoon. A break allows staff to refresh and return to their work with renewed energy.

However employees across Europe are often choosing to work through their break, resulting in a decline in output. Figures show that:

  • One in five people in Germany don’t take a break at work
  • An estimated two thirds of the workforce in Britain do not stop to eat their lunch
  • The average lunch break in France is just 22 minutes

Staff rely on their brains and bodies to help them stay productive at work, so it’s crucial that they stay as healthy as possible to help them achieve their goals.

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Sources

https://hbr.org/2014/10/what-you-eat-affects-your-productivity/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacia-pierce/10-best-practices-to-staying-healthy-at-work_b_6844336.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/foods-you-should-eat-to-increase-productivity-2013-5?op=1&IR=T

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11644683/Stand-up-for-at-least-two-hours-a-day-in-office-workers-warned.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24532996

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10183227/Thirsty-work-drinking-water-can-improve-reaction-times.html

http://www.thelocal.de/jobs/article/german-employees-urged-to-work-less

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11326076/British-workers-are-skipping-lunch-and-thats-hurting-productivity.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-bartolotta/5-science-backed-ways-taking-a-break-boosts-our-productivity_b_8548292.html

http://www.optistaffing.com/2015/04/08/increase-your-productivity-drink-more-water/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/11634163/Dont-drink-more-than-four-coffees-a-day-EU-warns.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-radio-and-tv-17561232

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/nda100326