Food Choices In Snack Room, Vending Machines Can Contribute To Well Workplace
changes in the cafeteria, snack room foods and vending machines can go
a long way toward providing "well" workplaces for employees.
provide access to more healthy options at the workplace as an added
"benefit" to their employees, according to California’s Task
Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness.
organization said the price for overweight, obese and physically
inactive employees is increasingly borne by California’s
employers who see their insurance costs and workers’ compensation
premiums go up as productivity declines. Unhealthy workers require more
medical care, take more sick days, and are less productive on the job.
the World Health Organization, "Workplace physical activity programs in
the USA can reduce short-term sick leave (by 6 to 32 percent), reduce
healthcare costs (by 20 to 55 percent), and increase productivity (by 2
to 52 percent)."
spend so many of their waking hours on the job that achieving healthy
eating habits and reaching physical activity goals is virtually
impossible without opportunities for working adults to get their five
to nine servings fruits and vegetables and 30 minutes of physical
activity during the work day.
The following are tips on how you can help your employees to eat healthy foods and be active at work now and in the coming year.
Healthy Cafeteria Options:
appealing menu options at all workplace food services and cafeterias at
reasonable prices that meet healthy nutrition standards. Also, provide
attractive, colorful salad bars at reasonable prices in workplace
cafeterias, and prominently display or make nutrition information
readily available to employees.
Healthy Vending Machines:
food choices in vending machines that meet healthy nutrition standards.
These can include fresh, canned and dried fruits; 100 percent fruit or
vegetable juice; plain or mixed nuts; low-fat bagged snacks; salads;
nonfat yogurt and milk.
Snack Room Foods:
- Replace doughnuts, coffee and sodas with 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain bagels.
Tax Deduction for Healthy Meals:
partnerships with local restaurants in the area to provide low-cost
healthy alternatives (i.e., lunch specials) for customers during work
Shift Schedules or Extend Lunch Periods to Allow Time for Physical Activity:
to create longer lunch periods can give your employees time for
physical activity as well as time to eat. Lunch periods are often
considered "off duty" periods, removing company liability for lunchtime
workouts. The extended lunch time can easily be made up in the morning
or evening. Alternatively, allowing workers to start or end their days
earlier can help them access an outside fitness class not otherwise
secure and free bike storage as well as showering and changing
facilities will encourage more to bike to work and engage in other
For more information on the World Health Organization, visit www.who.int/en.
Address: California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness, P.O. Box 221671, Sacramento, CA 95822; (916) 452-1802, www.wellnesstaskforce.org.