The food you eat plays a big role in how you feel while on the job. If you’ve ever felt lethargic or unproductive after eating a big lunch, then you already know that dietary choices can do more than make you feel uncomfortably full or sluggish — they can affect your job performance, too.
In an AOL Jobs article written by David Schepp, nutritionist Deanna Moncrief says a lack of nutrients from too many processed foods and not enough fruits and vegetables, as well as a lack of water intake, “can leave many people feeling as if they’re working at only a fraction of their capacity and reduce output on the job.”
When you combine poor dietary choices with a sedentary lifestyle, employees not only experience reduced functionality but are also more susceptible to weight gain and related health problems.
As Moncrief explains, weight gain causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the body’s extremities, resulting in inefficient circulation. This translates to feeling tired and less productive.
An infographic created by MindFlash.com breaks down the ways in which food affects productivity, and also suggests brain- and energy-stimulating snacks that you should stash at your desk for a healthy boost. Here are a few of the fascinating finds as detailed on the infographic:
- A variety of nutritional deficiencies, including anemia, can contribute to reduced workplace output, sluggishness and lethargy. In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet, make sure you’re eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and iron.
- Research has shown that obese workers are twice as likely to miss work as fit employees.
- To keep your energy and productivity levels high, incorporate these foods into your diet: fish, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, avocado, whole grains, blueberries and carrots.
Because employee health is critical to company culture and output, it pays to invest in companywide health initiatives. Consider an employee wellness program that includes a weight loss challenge or educational sessions on various health conditions. There’s no doubt that individual employees assume the greatest responsibility when it comes to their health, but providing an additional set of tools and incentives can be just the push someone needs to break free from unhealthy habits and start the journey toward a healthier lifestyle that will benefit that individual’s personal and professional lives.
What do you do to stay energized and focused while on the job? Feel free to share your healthy workplace tips in the comments below!
Lead photo via underdogw