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How to stop “cake culture” leading to an unhealthy workforce

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Office Cake Culture

Well-being expert David Price from workplace wellbeing service company, Health Assured, comments on how can employers stop the office “cake culture?”

Office “cake culture” in which employees bring in treats for birthdays and celebrations is becoming a daily health hazard and should be stopped, experts have advised. The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has warned that in many offices, sweets and cakes have become a daily occurrence and the growing trend is contributing to workers poor health. This week many Britons have returned back to work and many will bring in leftover chocolate, biscuits and treats from Christmas.

While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health. It’s true what they say, a healthy body equals a healthy mind, which works wonders in helping both employers and their employees be more efficient and happy whilst at work.

A majority of the time people tend to give up on pursuing a healthy lifestyle, as it becomes difficult to fit in within with their busy schedules. Health, or more specifically poor health is one of the biggest factors that affects business productivity and can have a serious impact on company resources due to increased levels of employee absenteeism. With this in mind, it would be advantageous to both employers and employees alike if work and staying healthy were married together. This doesn’t require employers to take radical steps in an attempt to revolutionise their workplace, but small steps that will encourage a healthier mind-set.

Start by introducing healthy eating options into the office. As a society we prone to selecting easy snacking options that are quick to consume, but aren’t necessary good at providing long-term energy. Whilst I am not suggesting banishing all unhealthy food options from the lunch menu, as we all deserve a treat now and again, providing healthy alternatives enables employees to have a choice in what they eat. Something I have found to be effective is supplying employees with fresh fruit around the office. Not only does this add a bit of colour and brightness to our office, but it solves the problem of employees snacking on unhealthy foods, which leave them feeling lethargic and tired.

Another option for incorporating fitness into the work environment is to offer exercise classes to your employees. This is obviously space dependent, but it is an inexpensive way to keep employees fit. These classes can range from small yoga sessions to full fitness programmes. Outside of the fitness benefits, participation will provide employees with an opportunity to socialise with their colleagues away from their work stations, helping build a strong sense of camaraderie and positive team dynamics. If you do not have the space to facilitate fitness classes, consider teaming up with a local gym to offer discounted membership to your employees.

Fitness and health needn’t be a seasonal chore. If worked into the daily routine correctly, it can be an easy and effective way to maintain balance in an otherwise chaotic schedule. Employers should seriously consider the benefits of encouraging healthy lifestyle choices in the office, not only for the long-term wellbeing of their employees, but for the long-term health of their business.