The benefits of offering fresh fruit in the break room: healthier employees are happier and more productive.
Local organic apple or donut?
Most people know what decision they should make if those are the options they’re presented with in the break room. However, many people will still opt for the donuts, loaded in high fructose corn syrup and unhealthy fats with little dietary fiber.
The immediate results of that choice? A blood sugar crash plus loss of focus and energy. The long term results? Weight gain, increased sickness and days off work, and increased risk of developing preventable diseases like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
A Multi-Billion Dollar Loss For Companies
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the poor health of US citizens translates into employers losing $225 BILLION every year, and those costs continue to escalate.
We all have an individual and collective responsibility to do better. Beyond the financial loss, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to lose a friend, a coworker, or a family member to a disease that could have been prevented through diet and lifestyle changes.
What to do? Thankfully, lots of companies, scientists, and public health groups are trying to find answers to that question. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet answer and people are complicated (there’s no one-size-fits-all solution). Plus, nobody wants to be told what to do or lectured to.
Google, a little (haha) company just up the road from us that you may have heard of, has tested various strategies to get their employees to both make and accomplish personal health goals. Whether you’re an HR specialist, a corporate executive, or just someone who wants to make better eating choices, we highly encourage you to read a summary of Google’s findings here in Harvard Business Review.
Fresh Fruit In the Break Room And Other Recommendations
A few quick take-aways and thoughts we’d like to add to help your efforts:
- Make healthy food and drink alternatives accessible and encourage their consumption over unhealthy alternatives. The benefits of offering fresh fruit in the break room (like our organic fruit boxes) are that people don’t HAVE to go for the donut when they’re feeling hungry. They at least have a choice – one that will put good “fuel” in their bodies and brains. Ideally, you can also make the healthier options (fruit, nuts, water, whole grain products, etc) MORE accessible and the unhealthy options (soda, donuts, candy, etc) LESS accessible. It may sound like common sense, but as Google found, “People tend to eat food that is easy to see or easy to reach.” Over many months and years, snacking on healthy foods versus unhealthy foods can make a huge difference on overall weight gain and health.
- Create a culture of health, from the top down. If your management is not personally invested in becoming healthier and is not encouraging that mentality throughout the workforce, it’s unlikely that the organization is going to reduce costs and improve overall health. Culture can have a profound impact on individual decision-making, so make your culture profoundly positive!
- Reduce stress. Yes, work can sometimes be stressful, even under the best of circumstances. However, when work is ALWAYS stressful, something needs to change. Sustained stress causes a host of health problems in its own right, but it also makes it more likely that employees will self-medicate with addictive junk food that give them a quick dopamine hit to counteract all the negativity they’re feeling.
- Yes, organic fruits and veggies are healthier. Don’t take our word for it, read this meta analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition or this meta analysis published in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences or this overview by Consumer Reports. If you can get more nutrition from less calories while avoiding harmful synthetic pesticides, why wouldn’t you do that?
Again, if you want to take a deep dive into the how-to’s of establishing good food consumption patterns at work or at home as part of an overall employee wellness program, please read the Harvard Business Review article mentioned above. Ready to move forward and make progress? Let Daily Harvest Express help you and your company be healthier, happier, and more productive! Our break room boxes make it super easy for you to get good food into the people tasked with making your company successful… Invest in them so they can invest in you!
Get your Daily Harvest Express order placed right now (or no later than Sunday evening at 5 pm) so you can enjoy fresh, healthy food from local farmers! Would you like to get a fresh basket of fruit into your company’s break room? Click here
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