Most working Canadians spend about 60% of their waking hours at work, and eat at least one meal during their workday, making workplaces an ideal environment to promote healthy eating behaviours. A well balanced diet provides us with the energy to be alert and productive during the work day. It can also help lower our risk of developing nutrition-related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancers.
Promoting healthy eating in your workplace has many benefits. It can improve employees’ moods, productivity, concentration and job satisfaction. It can also help lower workplace-related costs, including missed work days, reduced productivity, medical costs, higher rates of injury or disability and early retirement.
The Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH) identifies 9 essential elements to creating a healthy workplace nutrition environment:
- Organization commitment to a positive healthy eating culture
- Supportive social eating environment
- Supportive physical eating environment
- Access to healthy, reasonably priced, culturally appropriate food
- Credible nutrition education and support for employees and their families
- Nutrition education for key decision makers and intermediaries
- Access to dietetic services
- Safe food practices and accommodation of special dietary needs
- Nutrition policies that encourage healthy eating