Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Unhealthy Habits are Putting Your Job on the Line?

TheBUZZ : Unhealthy habits are putting your job on the line?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
A poor diet, little exercise, and smoking contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. But did you know they can also affect your productivity at work?

WHAT WE KNOW

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, may help to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers. The fiber found in all three helps you to feel full and satisfied. Fruits and vegetables are particularly important additions to your diet because they are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Top 10 Benefits of Eating Fruits & Veggies

Healthy weight management is essential to optimal, overall health. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (along with lean protein and low-fat dairy products) is fundamental to weight management. Physical activity plays a vital role as well. You should work towards 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity 4 to 6 days per week.

A balanced diet, daily physical activity, and other healthy habits are essential to optimal health but it’s a daunting task for some to make healthy lifestyle changes. Many myths about living a healthy lifestyle (too expensive, time consuming, inconvenient) prevent people from attempting change. Research now suggests that those who eat limited amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, who get limited exercise, and who smoke, are less productive.

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

A new study published in Population Health Management suggests that a single unhealthy behavior can increase the likelihood of a loss in productivity. It included employees within three (3) geographically dispersed companies and found that employees with an unhealthy diet were 66% more likely to experience less productivity than those who included fruits, vegetables and whole grains regularly in their diet. Employees who exercised only occasionally were 50% more likely to report less productivity than those who exercised regularly, and smokers were 28% more likely to suffer from a drop in productivity than non-smokers.¹ Ray Merrill, a Professor in the Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, noted that productivity losses costs employers 2 to 3 times more than annual healthcare costs.²

OUR ADVICE

We do know that healthy weight management requires both physical activity and proper nourishment without overloading on calories. There are many benefits to gain from participating in physical activity and eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins. For example, maintaining a healthy weight, active lifestyle, and balanced diet will provide you with more energy to accomplish tasks throughout your day. So, it’s important to encourage and empower your family to get active and to eat healthfully. You’ll notice the benefits at home, work, school, and even when you sleep!

Here are some healthy ideas to get you started …

    • Organize family walks around your neighborhood after dinner or after breakfast on the weekends.
    • Take a trip to your local park or zoo.
    • Initiate a game of soccer, softball, or whiffle ball with friends and family and pack lunch to go. Fill coolers with plenty of water, fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, non-fat milk or yogurt, and lean protein sandwiches.
    • Try some new healthy recipes. Check out our Shrimp Salad Confetti Sandwiches for a tasty twist on the usual lunchtime meal.

 

¹ Ray, Miller A. et al. “Population Health Management.” Presenteeism According to Healthy Behaviors, Physical Health, and Work Environment. Population Health Management, 2 Aug. 2012. Web. 21 Aug. 2012
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/pop.2012.0003

² Hollingshead, Todd. “News.” Poor Employee Health Means Slacking on the Job, Business Losses. Bringham Young University, Aug. 2012. Web. Aug. 2012.
http://news.byu.edu/archive12-aug-workplacehealth.aspx

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