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An average adult will spend approximately 60% of their waking hours at work, consuming about a third of their daily food intake in the time that they are there.

Many factors within the workplace can impact on food consumption, including the availability of different food options, working conditions, and the dietary habits of workmates.  Because of this, the workplace is also an ideal avenue for the promotion of positive healthy eating messages.

Why should healthy eating be promoted in the workplace?

  • Eating nutritious food helps reduce anxiety and stress, while elevating mood, energy and self esteem.  This results in happier, more productive employees.

  • In the 2012/2013 New Zealand Health Survey, three out of ten adults (31%) are now obese, a figure that has been increasing since 1997.

  • Knowledge and skills gained in relation to healthy eating in the workplace can be transferred through to family members at home, improving the health of the wider community and reducing the need for employees to take domestic or sick leave.

How can workplaces help?

There are many ways workplaces can assist employees to choose healthy food options, such as:

  • Displaying healthy eating messages throughout the workplace.

  • Ensuring that healthy food (including fruit and vegetables) and drink options are available at the cafeteria, in vending machines and snack boxes, and that these are competitively priced and of a reasonable, healthy portion size.

  • Allowing a reasonable amount of time for employees to eat.

For more information about nutrition and healthy eating in the workplace, visit our WorkWell website where you can access free resources, tools and assistance.

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