Nutrition Month 2023: Workplace Wellness
Each year during the month of March, Registered Dietitians and other professionals celebrate Nutrition Month to help provide Canadians with informed nutrition information. This year’s theme is Unlock the Potential of Food, and today we are happy to share tips on how to eat a healthy diet at work.
Workplace Wellness 101
Workplace wellness refers to health promotion activities or policies that support positive employee health and behaviour. From medical screenings and health education fairs to fitness programs and health club memberships, there are plenty of ways that organizations can foster a culture of good health. This includes proper diet and nutrition, the ideal foundation of organizational wellness.
Diet and nutrition affect the health of staff at every level. Research shows that improved diet habits enhance employee health. Whether you’re a shift worker or you work from home, the following practices can help manage and avoid changes in appetite, weight, sleep pattern and digestion:
Pack healthy meals and snacks
Preparing healthy meals and snacks at home will make it easier to eat well on your break. You should also include plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and foods high in protein.
Cut down on caffeine
Drinking caffeinated beverages can help you stay alert; but too much caffeine can interfere with sleep, make you feel nervous or irritable and upset your stomach. To cut down on caffeine, switch to decaffeinated tea or coffee, or herbal teas.
Eat your main meal before going to work
If you work shifts, you may find yourself eating a large meal twice, first at home and then again at work. Eat your main meal a few hours before going to work. Eat a small meal and have healthy snacks spread out during your shift. If you work remotely, make sure you eat prior to starting work to increase concentration.
Drink more water
Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. It may help you feel more alert during your work hours. Remember to keep a reusable water bottle close by and stay hydrated.
Take active breaks
If you can, do some stretches during your break. Walk up a flight of stairs, or go for a brisk walk. This will give you energy to finish your work day, improve your mood and help you sleep better.
Please note that these strategies are generalized and may not work for everyone. Please consider speaking to a dietitian for personalized advice.
Thank you to North York General Hospital’s Dietetic Students Tamara Bird, Taylor Hunsley, Joanna Morrison, and Rachael Sonola for contributing to our blog this month as we Unlock the Potential of Food together.