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Wellbeing and nutrition in the workplace

Wellbeing and nutrition in the workplace

26-01-16 16:24 BIFM

Over sixty members packed into Specsavers prestigious offices near Fareham to listen to two experts who spoke about the benefits of a healthy workplace.

Ruston Toms from Blue Apple Catering began by reminding us that the 30 million working population in the UK spend a third of their day at work. Employees with a ‘Less healthy’ diet are 66% more likely to be less productive’ (Brigham Young University 2012) and People with unbalanced diets also take 15% more time off work (Harvard Medical School). The shocking facts are that in UK children (11-15yrs) obesity is up to 40% due to calorie rich, nutrient poor food and high levels of inactivity (NHS Jan 2015). Toms went on to remind us that we are what we eat! Employers can help by educating employees by promoting nutritional groups, introducing workplace program discussions and working with caterers on menu engineering. He recommended that preaching does not work as adults generally know what they should be eating but coping strategies will help them to resist temptations. The promotion of healthy choices and their benefits plus the use of informative marketing and merchandising material at the point of sale can remove the barriers to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Our second speaker, Angela Steel, founder of SuperWellness, informed us that although we have an average life expectancy of over eighty in the UK, our health life expectance only averages 64. In the early 1950’s only 300 people reached the age of 100. By 2040 over 100,000 of us will live to that ripe old age. She went on to add that as we eat poor nutritional diets, fat can build up on our waistline which means many of our vital organs are carrying fat that contributes to many illnesses including type 2 diabetes. After an illuminating quiz about sugar, Steel went on to recommend three habits to adopt for a healthy diet. The first is to eat eggs for their protein which helps us feel satisfied and prevent cravings. Eggs provide the building blocks for muscle tissue and the raw material for most neurotransmitters in the brain. Her second tip was to ‘desugarise’ by restricting ourselves to 1 gram per Kg body weight + 50% if exercising. Sugar is addictive and stimulates dopamine release making the dopamine receptors become less efficient and making us crave more sugar. The third tip is being careful of the fruit we eat. Southern hemisphere fruit contains more fructose than northern hemisphere fruit and she recommends apples, pears and berries. Her final piece of advice was to ‘Rest and Digest’. Eating at our workplace, answering e-mails and the telephone calls prevents us absorbing more nutrients and gives us problems with digestive problems.
After many questions, the members showed their appreciation before a healthy buffet and an enjoyable networking session, including a tour of Specsavers innovative workplace.

We would like to thank Specsavers for hosting this event and providing refreshments. Our thanks also go to Ruston Toms and Angela Steel for their excellent presentations.

For further details please contact Ian Fielder at ian.r.fielder@gmail.com

BIFM South Region is supported by Procore and The Resourcing Group


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