Wellbeing in the Workplace

by | Autumn 2024, Holistic Living, Print Articles

Adults spend at least a third of their lives at work. Whether it’s an eight-to-five desk job, shift work, or running a business, a big chunk of time and energy goes into work. In a world dominated by technology and ever-increasing pressure, it’s easy to get carried away by workplace demands at the expense of our health, which is why consciously prioritising good health and wellbeing choices in the workplace is key. 

Tetley partner dietitian, Mbali Mapholi, says that corporate nutrition is a vital contributor to overall health. “Nutrition plays an important role in corporate wellness,” explains Mapholi. “Food choices are more than just sustenance; they impact energy levels, cognitive function and overall wellbeing. In this era of heightened awareness around holistic health, investing in good nutrition at the workplace is a catalyst for heightened productivity, job satisfaction and overall wellbeing.” 

In line with this, Mbali has shared four top tips to help people feel at their healthy best in the workplace. 

Breakfast boost

The intermittent fasting craze has become popular in the corporate world, but it’s important to remember that this weight loss strategy may not be suitable for everyone in terms of sustained energy throughout the day. Research shows that skipping breakfast or having a breakfast high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to mid-morning crashes, mood swings and decreased focus. A nutrient-rich breakfast that is low in sugar can regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cravings throughout the day.

Food Tips: Start the day with a nutritious breakfast of oats, peanut butter on wholegrain toast, fruit, avocado toast with eggs, or smoothies.

Effective hydration

Staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial in order to function optimally, but it’s important to choose the right beverages. In addition to drinking water, consider adding fruit slices or herbs to your chilled water to keep your hydration levels up. Be mindful of your caffeine intake and avoid relying on coffee as a meal replacement, as this can impact alertness and reduce sustained concentration.

Drink Tips: To improve productivity, incorporate  Rooibos or Green Tea into your routine as these are both rich in antioxidants and compounds that promote brain function, resulting in better focus and alertness. 

Mindful breaks

Taking time to enjoy a meal mindfully fosters a positive relationship with food and sets a tone of intention for the day. Stepping away from your desk during meals, especially lunch, can positively impact your mental health. Taking mindful breaks throughout the day can also positively impact mental health and productivity. This means setting aside a few minutes to step away from work and engage in an activity that promotes relaxation and mindfulness.

Break Tips: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or going for a walk helps reduce stress and increase focus.

Smart snacking
Healthy snacks can combat mid-morning or afternoon slumps and promote sustained energy. This helps you avoid the temptation of unhealthy snacks while fuelling your body with essential nutrients. It’s important to remember that snacking should be a supplement to your diet, not a replacement. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose snacks that are high in protein, fibre and healthy fats, as these will keep you feeling full for longer periods. Snacking can also be an opportunity to experiment with new fruits and vegetables.

Snack Tips: Snack combinations like apple slices with peanut butter; hummus and fresh cut-up vegetables; boiled eggs and fruit; yoghurt and fruit; and nuts or popcorn are great options.

To discover healthy tips and recipe ideas from Tetley Tea, follow @TetleyTeaSA on Facebook and Instagram or visit www.joekels.co.za. For more insightful dietary information, follow Mbali Mapholi @Urbandietitian.