According to Sight and Life, nutrition in the workplace is a winning solution for both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. While no specific food or diet can prevent individuals from contracting COVID-19, both The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) state that proper nutrition plays an important role in keeping the immune system strong and healthy. Having a strong immune system can help lower the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases, as well as improve your body’s ability to fight an infection and heal itself after an infection. Overall, these insights highlight the importance of promoting nutrition as part of your return-to-work strategy.
Benefits of Promoting Nutrition
As your employees begin returning to work, having a strong and healthy immune system is essential as they increase their possible risk of contracting COVID-19. In addition, promoting nutrition in the workplace has many other benefits you may not have considered. According to a recent Forbes article and WHO, optimal nutrition has the following benefits:
- Improved overall mental and physical well-being
- improved concentration and cognitive function
- Increased energy and reduced fatigue
- An average of 20% increase in productivity
- Overall happier and more engaged at work
- Reduced sick days
- Lower healthcare costs
How to Promote Nutrition During and Post COVID-19
When it comes to eating healthy at work, a recent Food smart study discovered the top challenges employees face:
- Easy or fast food choices aren’t always the healthiest options
Not having time to buy and prepare healthy meals
Budgeting for healthier food options
Not having a support system or encouragement for eating healthy
This information can help you discover the best ways to promote nutrition in the workplace. Some ideas include:
- Include education or coaching elements to your wellness program that encourage workers to consume more nutritious foods.
- Provide access to nutrition consultation and personalized nutrition advice.
- Create a healthy, on demand food program where healthy meals are catered or subsidized.
- Remove unhealthy temptations from vending machines and/or break rooms. Instead, stock up on healthy snacks, such as fruit, vegetables, mixed nuts, or yogurt.
- When it is safe to host corporate events, lunch-and-learns or other gatherings, cater in healthy meal options.