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Better nutrition boosts workplace wellness

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Written by: Alexa Stone

Workplace wellness should be easy. After an hour or so of focused progress, get up, stretch, and maybe refill the water bottle from the break room sink.

There, in many offices, perils await. Where did those doughnuts come from? A well-meaning and generous manager or coworker may have brought them in. The box sits open and there happens to be one remaining chocolate-frosted treat that no one has torn in half. It has your name on it.

Fortunately for your better health, you remember other snack and meal options that are available at your Smart Workplace!

Break time/anytime

A fruit bowl has been set out within reach of that chocolate doughnut, and is much more colorful, fresh, and appealing.  The shelf life of an out-of-box doughnut (even when loaded with preservatives) is a matter of hours. Fruit remains fresh for days.

In fact, if that fruit bowl is tucked into the refrigerator at the Close Of Business, apples will last a month. Oranges and peaches are good for two weeks or more.

People who wish to atone for caloric sins, or who really, really love vegetables will enjoy carrots. Those stay fresh in the refrigerator for two weeks. Celery remains crisp for about half as long and broccoli (everyone’s favorite?) appears to be edible for three to five days.

Lunch time

Signs for fast-food restaurants are brightly lit and are posted on tall poles in conspicuous places. Their food is advertised as fun, fast, and flavorful. Nutrition… which food allegedly is all about… receives little mention.

Again, the sustainably-minded manager or co-worker can help. That person might prepare a list of healthy dining options that are convenient to the office. Those places will not be advertised as widely as the Burger Barn. Still, a note posted on the break room refrigerator could be effective in reminding people that better choices are available.

If the note includes a little map, people might even walk there.


On some occasions, the only proper refreshment is cake. Even those can be mediated with angel food, strawberries, and the like.

At the other extreme, a catered event or restaurant visit may be budgeted. More often and less formally, potluck lunches will bring people together, inspire creativity, and with any luck will not trigger any sick days. Again, there’s a possible quick win of taking a healthy approach to office potluck gatherings. It takes minimal planning.

The potluck can be announced as a wellness lunch, with people encouraged to bring their favorite nutritious specialties. Depending on the interests of the office team, it could be an occasion for a recipe swap or a healthy foods cookoff.

Workplace wellness often involves very small investments but can bring substantial long-term rewards.