What are the benefits of setting up a healthy breakfast area in your office?
You may not equate a hearty plate of eggs and toasts with a boost to your company’s bottom line, but if (as evidence suggests) eating a balanced meal in the morning boosts productivity and concentration, shouldn’t we all be providing a healthy breakfast to help fuel our staff for the day ahead?
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is encouraging employers to do just that. The charity recently published a free PDF guide called – Setting up a Healthy Breakfast Facility in Your Workplace’, which offers handy tips and ideas for getting your healthy breakfast project off the ground.
The guide shows it can be as simple as setting up an area in the kitchen or lunch room with seating, magazines and a selection of fruit, oats, juices, nuts, muesli, whole-wheat breads and yoghurts. Not only will this help out individuals who are too busy to eat in the mornings but it will also encourage everyone to make healthier choices.
What is a 'healthier choice'?
A healthy breakfast is one that provides the highest level of nutrition and energy. Try to combine complex carbohydrates (like oats and whole-grain wheat) with fibre and protein. Some healthy breakfast ideas include:
- Porridge with honey and fruit - oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fibre that's thought to lower cholesterol when eaten regularly. Oats are also high in omega-3, folate, fatty acids and potassium.
- Scrambled eggs with yoghurt on soda bread - eggs are protein-rich, the yoghurt will add a delicious creaminess (plus more protein), and soda bread is mineral-rich and made with baking soda rather than yeast, helping reduce any bloating.
- Avocado toast with poached egg - (as pictured) avocados are high in healthy fats plus an impressive host of vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate. Poaching is healthy, oil-free way of cooking eggs.
Why is breakfast so important?
Breakfast is linked to being slimmer
According to the NHS, people who eat breakfast every day are slimmer because they’re full all morning and less likely to snack on high calorie food. Here are some healthy breakfast ideas.
Breakfast saves us money
Research by the British Dietetic Association found that the average Brit spends over £20,000 on snack food throughout their working life – that’s £2 a day. Having breakfast can stave off hunger pangs and reduce the need to buy snacks.
Breakfast boosts brain function
Neuroscientists at UCLA found that the brain works best with around 25g of glucose circulating in the bloodstream – the amount found in one banana or a small bowl of oats. Both of these foods release energy into the bloodstream slowly. While a donut will provide about 20 minutes of alertness before crashing suddenly, oats or a banana (and other foods with a low glycemic index or GI) will give a steady release that keeps you alert and full for longer.
Breakfast boosts physical endurance
It’s simple: breakfast fuels our bodies and increases our endurance – important for manual workers with physical jobs.
What impact does skipping breakfast have on businesses?
A 2013 study by Weetabix On The Go found that employees who skip breakfast can lose up to 82 minutes of work per day due to poor productivity. They estimated that this is costing UK businesses around £300 million every year.
BHF believes a great solution to the problem is for employers to provide a healthy breakfast for their staff. Aside from boosting energy and productivity in the office, they say a breakfast bar could:
- Help employees start the day on a positive note by spending time in a nice, social environment.
- Encourage healthy eating.
- Encourage employees to socialise and interact with people from different departments.
- Help teams bond.
- Benefit those from low-income families.
At Posturite we advocate investment in staff health and happiness because we know individual output determines business output. To find out more about your duty as an employer, and what you can do to boost workplace happiness and health, please speak to your local account manager.