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Be More Productive with Fruits, Veggies and Exercise

smiling man in offfice on the phoneEating healthy, exercising, and staying a healthy weight – all the hallmarks of reducing cancer risk – may also improve workers’ productivity and performance, suggests a new study published last week.

For the study, approximately 20,000 employees from three companies completed a survey asking about their health, including dietary habits, as well as emotional and physical well being. The employees also answered questions about their work performance and productivity, such as how often they had trouble concentrating at work and why.

When looking at health behaviors, employees who ate healthy the previous day, ate five or more servings of vegetables a week, and exercised at least three days a week had improved performance compared to their colleagues who did not follow these health behaviors.

Smokers and overweight employees were more likely to score in the highest category o poor work performance compared to their non-smoker and healthy weight colleagues. Overall, work related issues, such as no technology support and having too much to do with not enough time, were the largest factors that influenced work performance. But having worksite wellness programs that make it feasible for employees to eat healthier at work and exercise during the day may also help improve productivity, conclude the authors.

Source: William Whitmer, and the HERO Research Study Subcommittee. “Presenteeism According to Healthy Behaviors, Physical Health, and Work Environment.” Population Health Management. Volume: 15 Issue 5: September 11, 2012.

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