Want to Get More Done at Work? Eat Better
According to new research, lack of exercise, smoking, and unhealthy diets can likely affect the performance of employees each day. The researchers from Brigham Young University, who were assigned in the Health Enhancement Research Organization and the Center for Health Research at Healthways, discovered that people who have unhealthy lifestyles are likely the ones who have higher levels of unproductive work time.
Factors That Can Affect Employees’ Productivity
Furthermore, the study revealed that employees who have specifically unhealthy diets were 66% more likely to encounter a loss in productivity compared to those who frequently ate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Additionally, those employees who seldom exercise were 50% more likely to have lower levels of productivity compared to the ones who do regular exercises. Furthermore, smokers were 28% more likely to experience a decline in productivity compared to those who are nonsmokers.
Based on the research, employees who are having a hard time exercising during workdays have a 96% chance that they will have a decline in their productivity. While those employees who do not believe that the environment in their workplace can support them in being physically and emotionally healthier were likely the ones who will suffer from productivity decline.
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According to the vice president and chief science officer for Healthways, Dr James Pope, the research they’ve conducted revealed that loss in employee productivity is generally associated with poor well-being, bad health habits, increased health risks, as well as the existence of the chronic disease. This information is important since a great number of employees are now having poor diets, excessive body fats, sedentary lifestyles, and diabetes.
Other Factors Associated To The Decrease In Productivity
The research also revealed that there are other factors both personal and work-related that have contributed to the decrease in productivity. This includes lack of technological support, insufficient time in performing their job duties, as well as financial stress.
Based on the study, productivity loss was greatly experienced by people who are between 30 and 39 years old and less experienced by those who are 60 years old and older. It is also seen to be more prevailing among women than men. Additionally, it is more common for those who are divorced, separated or widowed than those who are married.
According to the report, the highest levels of productivity loss can be found in clerical or office workers who are involved in the service and transportation industries. While the lowest levels can be seen on those who are in the mining, fishing, farming, construction, and forestry industries.
According to the CEO of the Health Enhancement Research Organization, Jerry Noyce, it is vital that firms should look deeper into productivity loss and measure them in order to understand its impact on the bottom line.
Furthermore, Noyce revealed that business leaders have the capability to lessen the factors that greatly impact productivity loss. This includes implementing the best wellness programs in your workplace. It should focus more on the employees’ well-being improvement. As a result, this can help in improving employee’s productivity and satisfaction as well as the employer’s profitability.
These results were based on the survey conducted on 19,803 employees who were working at three geographically separated companies. The outcome of this study can also be seen in the Population Health Management journal.
The Productivity Diet
What you eat can directly impact your performance at work. Do you want your body and mind to function at its optimum? Then the best solution is to practice good nutrition. Actually, this concept is not new, but why is it that most people are not implementing it. One of the biggest hindrances is people are getting confused with what good nutrition really means. Also, there are various conflicting ideas out there making us wonder more and more. For instance, should you follow the food pyramid, are whole grains actually heart-healthy, should you do a juice cleanse, etc.
If you want to nourish your brain and body in order to achieve optimal performance, then you should practice good nutrition which includes choosing what you eat and when to eat them. For instance, having 25 grams of glucose in our bloodstream can make our brains work at its best. This amount can be found in a banana. Hence, eating a banana between meals can actually help in boosting your brainpower. On the other hand, if you choose to eat something that is high in sugar during snack time, such as a handful of M&Ms, then you are risking yourself with a blood sugar spike followed by a collision. The outcome would be low productivity and low energy.
If you are actually serious in performing your best at work, then it is vital that you have to make wise decisions about your food. Here are some foods that can help you in keeping up your energy and productivity throughout the day.
Good nutrition is critical in maximizing our productivity and effectiveness at work. By nourishing our bodies and brains with the right foods, it can create a positive effect on how we feel, think, create, and reminisce.
According to the study conducted by the Health Enhancement Research Organization, employees who ate healthy foods throughout the day were 25% more likely to have a higher level of job performance. While those who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables at least four times a week were 20% more likely to be more productive. Finally, those employees who ate healthy foods and do exercises regularly performed 11% better and have 27% fewer absences from work.
If you are serious about achieving optimal performance at work, then it is important that you should make intelligent decisions when it comes to the food that you put in your body. Although our brains only comprise 2% of our body weight, it can consume 20% calories each day. If you want your brain to function at its best, then you should supply it with a constant amount of glucose and fat. That is why it is essential that we know where we can get this glucose and fat.
Do you know that our bodies do not process all foods at the same time? When we ate foods that can release glucose instantly, such as white bread, cereal, sweets, and pasta, we encounter a blood sugar spike that provides us with an instant burst of energy. Afterwards, it is then followed by a sudden decline in blood sugar that results in a slump. Hence, you will experience low productivity and low energy levels.
When we eat foods that give us more sustained energy, such as low glycemic carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, as well as foods rich in proteins and healthy fats, we are providing our brain with a steadier supply of energy.
What To Eat At Breakfast
Eggs are comprised of fat-like B Vitamin known as choline which can improve memory and reaction time.
Bananas can help the brain works at its best since it contains 25 grams of glucose.
Yoghurt contains probiotics, protein, and minerals which are valuable to the digestive system.
Blueberries include a potent combination of antioxidants which can enhance the memory and motor coordination.
What To Eat At Lunch
Sometimes it is easy to get tempted with unhealthy options at lunchtime. This is because they are quicker and cheaper compare to healthy alternatives. The key is you have to make your eating decisions before you get hungry. Or you could pack your lunch the night before.
Dark, leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It contains iron that can help in bringing more oxygen to the body and brain. It can also enhance cognitive control.
Spinach is rich in antioxidant power. According to researchers, it can help in improving your learning capacity and motor skills.
Avocados are comprised of monounsaturated fats which can help in contributing to healthy blood flow and makes your brain healthier.
Almonds are comprised of phenylalanine which is valuable to your mental and neurological health. In addition, almonds are also rich in riboflavin which can help in boosting your memory.
Olive oil is the best source of monosaturated fat and it is best known for slow brain ageing.
Whole wheat bread is rich in fibre and causes less blood sugar spike. However, when other protein is added to the bread, its glucose absorption rate will become gentler.
What To Eat At Dinner
Salmon is rich in protein, iron, omega-3s, and B-vitamins which can improve reasoning, memory, focus, and recall.
Broccoli is known as a superfood since it has a high overall nutrient content. It is also the best source of Vitamin K which can help in improving cognitive function and enhances brainpower.
Eating eggplant can help in keeping your brain sharp.
What To Eat During Snacks
Fruits and veggies contain essential nutrients that can help in the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is vital in the experience of motivation, curiosity, and engagement. They also include antioxidants that can help in reducing body inflammation.
Raw carrots can provide your brain with a steady level of blood sugar so it can function optimally.
Walnuts are comprised of vitamin B6, vitamin E, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as 15% to 20% protein.
Cashews are rich in magnesium which can help in opening up the blood vessels in your body. With more oxygen in the blood, your brain can function better.
Dark chocolate includes antioxidant properties which can increase the production of endorphins and improves focus and concentration.
Other Ways Of Boosting Your Productivity
Business experts claim that there are certain productivity hacks that can help you in getting things done quickly. There’s no doubt that there are some common-sense tools that can help you in becoming more productive. For instance, avoiding social media, taking short breaks, as well as creating efficient to-do lists.
Here, we will provide you with some of the best strategies that can help you to become more productive. It is essential that you should not view them as hacks but rather some tips. Actually, there are no hacks in becoming more productive, although there are a few habits which you can implement to help you become a much better and more efficient worker. By building these habits, you are taking the right steps in becoming more productive.
Streamline Your Space
Before you start doing anything else, take some time to begin each day by cleaning and organizing your workspace. According to Kristoph Matthews, who founded Boxbee, a clutter-free environment can help you in thinking more clearly and producing better results. Cleaning up and organizing your space can greatly help in increasing your productivity and spending less time searching for items.
Add Some Colour Or Live Plants
According to Jenny Gauld, Turnstone’s interior designer, colour can have a strong influence on your productivity and mood throughout the day. Blue provides a calm feeling, making you focus more. Red is an excellent colour for work that requires precision and attention to detail. Plants can also help people in concentrating more on their work. Based on the study from Washington State University, employees become more productive and feel less stress when they are exposed to plants, most especially if their workplace does not have any windows.
Put Some Decorations On Your Workspace
Aside from adding some colour and plants to your workspace, putting some decorations on your cubicle or desk can greatly help in making your feel more relaxed, most especially if it includes some personal touch. Consequently, this can also help in boosting your productivity. Gauld even recommended that employees can feel more appreciated if they display their meaningful career memorabilia, like awards, diplomas, and other embellishments, in their workspace. This can also help in motivating employees.
Stay Away From Your Most-Dreaded Task
Most often, employees have at least one task on their to-do list that they hate doing. As a result, they keep on pushing it back since the thought of doing it seems dreadful. However, according to Matthews, this task should be the one that you will finish first. Rather than waiting until the last minute to accomplish it, you should get it off your plate as soon as you can. After you have finished this task, you won’t get stressed by it anymore. In addition, you will find your other tasks less daunting. As a result, you will become more productive.