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Fresh fruit perks up workers

Keeping staff happy could be as simple as providing fresh fruit at work, a recent 5+ A Day survey shows. The results of the survey also indicate that New Zealand employers could be doing more to boost employee wellbeing and productivity.

The survey into consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in the workplace found 69% of Kiwis would feel positively towards their employer if fresh fruit was available to them. Yet the majority of those surveyed (65%) reported that fruit was not made available to them at work.

A healthy work environment could also benefit the bottom line, with 72% of workers agreeing that eating a healthy lunch made them feel more productive for the rest of the day. In addition, 64% of respondents said they would participate in a healthy eating challenge if it was organised by their employer.

Anna Sloan, dietitian at Nutrition Connection, says eating fruit daily provides immunity-boosting vitamins and is a nutrient dense source of energy. “Having fruit available as a snack means employees are less likely to need an afternoon trip to the vending machine, snack box or caffeine hit,” she says. “Encouraging employees to base their lunch meals around vegetables, protein and a handful-serve of carbohydrates also helps with this.”

The results are from a survey of 368 people nationwide, conducted by Nielsen in November. It forms part of 5+ A Day’s ongoing research into the eating habits of New Zealanders when it comes to fruit and vegetables.

Healthy workplace tips for employers 

For optimal health we should strive to eat five or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. As a guide, a serving is about a handful. Here are some tips on how to encourage healthy eating in the workplace:

  • Have fresh fruit regularly delivered to your workplace. Encourage staff to snack on the fruit instead of sugary treats.
  • Hold a healthy shared lunch once a month using 5+ A Day recipe suggestions.
  • Provide a range of healthy options for workplace celebrations such as birthday shouts and work anniversaries.

5+ A Day has developed practical tools and tips to help improve wellbeing and productivity in your workplace. For more, visit the Workplace Wellness Hub on www.5aday.co.nz, or follow @5adaynz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for fresh inspiration, recipes and prizes.

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