Employers might ask, is nutrition in the workplace important? The answer is yes, very. Numerous studies have indicated that poor employee health is a leading cause of decreased productivity worldwide. It’s estimated that $42 billion per year of productivity is lost to obesity-related health complications. Two thirds of this was attributed to presenteeism, while the remaining one third was from absenteeism.
Another recent study showed that employees who ate healthily and exercised on a regular basis, performed better at work and had up to 27% lower absenteeism than the average.
Why are the numbers so compelling? Because food makes employees function. What they eat has a direct impact on their overall health, energy, cognitive performance and ability to engage and think creatively. Viewed like this, it’s easy to see how performance at work is helped or hindered by our nutrition. It’s all too easy to see the impact on business’s bottom line.
Changing the game
It’s easy to be negative about the situation, but that’s not the right approach. It’s very rare for people to not want to be healthy. Quite the opposite. The most common barrier, or where things come unstuck for people, is when they find themselves in an environment where they constantly having to resist temptations.
These days, the chances attracting as well as retaining talented people, particularly millennials, is significantly improved by creating a healthy environment for your staff. What’s so great about this is it can be a profoundly cost-effective way to build productivity, culture, talent and creativity. By creating an environment where it requires less effort to be healthy, or better yet, where it is easier to be healthy than not, then you’ve changed the game.
At work, it’s all about and cultivating a nutritionally savvy environment – and making health the easy option.
For more on the link between nutrition and business, watch Dr. David Katz’s webinar: The basic care and feeding of Homo Sapiens.