It’s no secret that working in an office environment isn’t the best for your health. Long hours sitting down at a desk and looking at a computer screen can really take its toll on your body if you don’t take time to stretch and exercise. Then, there’s trying to stay on top of healthy eating. Long, exhausting hours mean that popping over to the food court for lunch and snacking on biscuits can become the easiest option. A lot of workplaces have already introduced standing desks for their employees to help improve their health. So should workplaces have a duty of care when it comes to their employees’ nutrition too?

Employees are expected to work longer hours than ever before, including all the after-hours time put in from home. This chews into time that could be used to prepare healthy meals to take to work for lunch and snacking. A quick google search will give you loads of stats on the diets of office workers and the implications, such as the vast majority of office workers buy their lunch each day and bought lunches contain many more calories than homemade lunches. Then there’s the obvious, like how unhealthy diets mean more sick days, which in turn means lower productivity. This can also lead to low job satisfaction and even depression. Yikes!

But if workplaces did decide to provide nutritious lunches and snacks for their employees, it would be a costly process. Plus, there are all the special dietary requirements and general taste preferences that would need to be catered for too, otherwise there would still be loads of employees that miss out.

Perhaps the most practical answer is that workplaces do have a level of responsibility, but it is in the form of educating and creating a healthy culture. One easy and low cost way of working towards this is through corporate fruit boxes. Farm Fresh Grocer is a Parramatta based company that delivers boxes of fresh fruit to offices in and around Sydney. The fruit boxes are packed with fresh fruit that is hand-picked from the Sydney Markets so it is as fresh as can be and supports Australian farmers. Farm Fresh Grocer sent me a box to try in my office and see how my colleagues reacted.

Farm Fresh Grocer

First of all, I was impressed by the variety in the fruit box. Loads of easy to eat bananas, plus in season stone fruit like peaches, plums and nectarines. There was also oranges, apples, pears, kiwi fruit, nashi pears and two avocados. The stone fruit, pears and some of the bananas still had a couple of days to ripen, while the other fruit was ready to eat straight away. I thought this worked well, because it meant that there would be fresh fruit available throughout the week.

Fruit

However, my colleagues were so excited by the fruit box that it only lasted in my office for a couple of days. It was great to see everyone excited by the delivery of colourful, healthy snacks. It was also a good reminder of how much more filling it is to have a big juicy peach, instead of a small nutrition-less chocolate which will leave you still feeling hungry. If you’re lucky enough to work in an office that can provide this type of service to its employees, then take advantage of it. But if not, try throwing an apple or banana in your bag before you leave the house. It’s a small step, but could make a big difference!

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