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Food for Thought - Workplace Wellbeing and Mental Health

 

World Mental Health Day is another fantastic opportunity for employers to show they have the best interests of their staff at heart. The truth is that there’s plenty you can do to reduce employee stress and anxiety, as well as drive up energy levels and physical fitness. It all starts with nutrition.

 

Focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing

It’s great that mental health and wellbeing programmes have started to gain a higher profile within organisations over the past few years. The government is now taking the issue seriously and the new occupational health and safety standard ISO 45001 has a major focus on wellbeing.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 70 million work days are lost each year in the UK because of mental health problems, at an annual cost to employers of around £2.4 billion. By taking carefully considered, proactive steps to build a comprehensive wellbeing programme, employers can do much to improve staff productivity and retention, reduce sick days and bolster the corporate reputation.

 

You are what you eat

Wellbeing crosses multiple domains including the corporate working environment, personal growth and ethical standards. But health is rightly front-and-centre for many. This is where nutrition can have a real impact on both the physical and mental wellbeing of employees. Nutritional deficiencies have long been linked to poor mental health and performance, and there’s a growing body of research highlighting the importance of various nutrients such as magnesium, omega-3, probiotics, vitamins (B and D3) and minerals like zinc.

As an employer, you can do your bit by ensuring the staff canteen is filled with healthy brain-boosting foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, oily fish, nuts and seeds. At Ark Workplace Risk we’re a firm believer in this approach, which is why we have daily deliveries of fresh fruit and take the wellbeing of staff very seriously.

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to wellbeing. But with keener focus on nutrition, organisations can proactively take steps to improve productivity, reduce stress and unplanned absences and make the workplace a healthier, happier place to be.

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