Healthy living doesn’t stop at the workplace.
With almost 3 billion people employed in varying work environments globally who spend approximately 60% of their waking hours at work the work place has an important role in our daily diet and lifestyle habits. Depending on the type of work you do, shift patterns, local culture and facilities anything between 30-50% of your daily calories are typically consumed in the work place – this can around 1,200 calories a day!
So, follow these simple tips for a healthier working day. For healthy tips specifically for shift workers click here.
Always labelled as the most important meal of the day and for good reason. Breakfast ‘breaks the fast’ of the overnight sleep and refuels your body with the energy, nutrients and calories it needs to start the day. Although any breakfast is better than no breakfast, a healthier breakfast is best.
Try to choose something that includes healthy carbohydrates such as wholegrains (e.g. oats, millet, unpolished/wholegrain rice, wholegrain bread and cereals) as these provide slow releasing energy to keep you feeling full for longer, some protein (e.g. from milk, low fat yogurt, pulses, eggs, nuts, seeds or even fish) and a portion of fruit or vegetables (such as whole fruit, small glass of fruit juice (150ml), wilted spinach, salsa with tomatoes and lentils or mashed avocado).
And if you’re short for time at home in the mornings – grab something you can eat on the go or at work.
Especially important if you work in shift patterns or have limited time to have a break and grab some food, sticking to a routine with regular meal intervals can help to maintain your energy and concentration.
Time away from your desk, work station or team location help to refresh your energy, concentration and motivation.
The easiest way to blow a healthy diet – snacking. However healthy snacks can help to boost your diet providing easy sources of fruit and veg, fibre, wholegrain goodness and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Key is just to remember to include your snacks in your daily calorie count.
And little treats and indulgences can still be included – just try to enjoy these on occasion and in smaller portions. A good rule of thumb is a snack of no more than 200-250 calories a day. This will help to manage your calories from snacks as well as saturated fat, sugar and salt.
A few examples of healthier snacks:
- Whole fruit and veg – try veg sticks with tomato salsa, humous or guacamole
- Chana Dal pancakes – healthy pancakes made with split chickpeas
- Wholegrain Khakhra – made from any wholegrains and baked rather than fried
- Oat based crackers – try with a veg based dip or spread with cottage cheese
- Roasted and spice nuts with dried fruit – a small handful of each
- A wholegrain bagel with nut butter (no added sugar or oil)
- Low fat yogurts, cottage cheese or milk drinks – fermented or not
Find out more here.
It’s well established that long periods of sedentary behaviour, particularly sitting, is not good for our health and has been associated with an increased in risk of conditions such as heart disease. Not all of us can go for a walk, activity class or gym workout during our lunch breaks, so instead try to build activity into your daily routine. For example, walk part of the journey to work, take the stairs not the lift, walk to the furthest water or printer station rather than the nearest. All these blocks of small activity add up and help to reduce our sedentary time.
Find out more here.