The impact of poor nutrition on workplace performance

August 2018

We all know that having a good diet is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, and most of us think of healthy nutrition only in terms of either health in general or in terms of weight loss. Not many consider how our productivity in the workplace is directly impacted by the kind of eating habits that we may have.  When employees have a nutritionally deficient diet, they are more likely to exhibit difficulties in concentrating and thinking, and they may also take more time to make decisions.  Along with these observable flaws, fellow employees may notice that those poor eaters are likely to be prone to irritability, frustration and tend to be most impatient.

The food you fuel your body with directly impacts your work performance.

Food is fuel. Just as you consider the kind of fuel you put into your car, so too is it important to consider the kind of food you fuel your body with. The food you fuel your body with directly impacts your work performance. Just think of the time you went out for a big lunch meeting, plenty of food, a bit too much bubbly… if you filled up on pasta, you probably noticed that when you got back to the office, you needed a good sleep, your body hit that slump and work was definitely out of the question. And if you had chosen to have a high fat meal instead, this would have required your digestive system to really work hard, and hence that groggy feeling would have definitely kicked in once you returned to the office.

Sadly, the unhealthy lunch options tend to be the cheaper and quicker options available to most time-poor employees.  That spur of the moment decision and choice costs work performance for the rest of the afternoon. 

There are some simple easy steps that employees can begin to embrace that will have great long term benefits.  Having a jar of natural almonds on the desk, or fresh fruit allows for grazing and staves off those spikes and drops in blood sugar levels and allows for a better choice at lunch time.  Some carrot sticks, celery and cucumber on the desk can help too.  A good trail mix, either store bought or home made is a good mix of nuts and fruits. 

So give some nutrition a bit of thought, and see the impact it has on your day.