Food for Thought: 4 in 10 Canadians Resort to Unhealthy Food Choices to Combat Energy Slumps During the Work Day
Toronto , August 1, 2007 – A new poll commissioned by Workopolis indicates that almost half (49 per cent) of Canadian workers report a noticeable dip in energy at least once a week during the work day. This has 42 per cent of Canadians reaching for a pick-me-up in the form of a cup of coffee or sugary snack, despite the fact that more than three-quarters (77 per cent) believe that what they eat during the work day affects their productivity at work.
You really are what you eat. Not only do t he foods we choose have a substantial affect on our overall health and well-being, but they also impact how productive we are during the workday," said Kristen Schiener, Registered Nutritionist . Many Canadians are resorting to a pop or sugary snack when they're feeling tired and then experiencing the yo-yo effect – they have a brief surge in energy, followed by a substantial crash."
To highlight the importance of healthy food choices, Workopolis is offering commuters in Toronto , Calgary and Vancouver the chance to lunch and learn" today. A lunch bag, along with tips on fitness, vacation and work-life balance are being handed out so that Canadians can learn how to be more productive at work.
Junk the junk food at work
Over half of respondents (56 per cent) of the Lunch and Learn Poll indicated that their workplace does not provide any healthy food or beverage snack options. Vending machines are a fixture in many Canadian workplaces; the contents of which are contributing to our waistlines but not our companies' bottom lines," said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis.
In fact, unhealthy food choices have the complete opposite effect. The International Labour Office reports that inadequate nourishment has cut productivity in the workplace by up to 20 per cent.
Break for breakfast
Three in ten working Canadians (27 per cent) are relying on coffee alone to kick start their work day, or not having anything at all for breakfast. The younger generation (aged 18-24) are the most likely to keep hitting the snooze button rather than make time for breakfast, with 29 per cent saying they skip breakfast on a typical work day.
Skipping breakfast or running on coffee alone is like trying to drive a car only on fumes, which we all know is not sustainable," said Schiener. Grab a piece of fruit. It's easy to eat on the way into work and is the perfect answer for anyone claiming they have no time for breakfast!"
What's for lunch Canada ?
- 62 per cent of Canadians are Plan Aheaders who pack a healthy lunch from home, like a sandwich or salad. A well-balanced meal made by you is the best way to know you're getting a nutritious lunch, and sandwiches made with whole grain breads or colourful salads topped with raw seeds and legumes are great choices for keeping your energy high throughout the day," said Schiener.
- 10 per cent of Canadian workers are Eaters on the Run who have a salad or sandwich on the go.
- Leisurely Lunchers make up 9 per cent of Canadian workers. It isn't just what you eat – it's how you eat it as well. Sitting down to digest a meal properly will help you stay focused on work rather than on food," said Schiener.
- Six per cent of Canadian workers are Starved for Time and appear to be working too hard to stop for a lunch break. Without lunch your brain also starves and you will feel a definite low in energy mid-afternoon, setting you up for cravings of unhealthy choices like sugary treats and caffeinated drinks," said Schiener.
- Fast Food Fanatics make up 5 per cent of the Canadian workforce and rely on hot dogs or a slice of pizza for energy. You will be much more productive if you fuel your body, rather than just feed it. Stick with whole foods which are a much better caloric investment," said Schiener.
- Microwave Mealers pack a frozen meal and make up just 3 per cent of Canadian workers.
Nutritional tips for greater workplace productivity:
- Aim for balanced meals and snacks throughout the day by partnering a protein with carbohydrates. You'll feel full longer and regulate your energy for a longer period of time.
- Look to fuel up every three hours to avoid energy slumps and ensure you are at your most productive.
- Slow down – even if you don't have a full hour to go out for lunch, take the time to make lunch a priority. Spending a few minutes midday on lunch will give you a much greater return on investment in terms of energy later in the day.
- Stay hydrated all day long by keeping a refillable water bottle with you at all times. A lack of fluids can lead to difficulty concentrating and increased effort for physical work.
The Workopolis Lunch and Learn program is an integrated marketing promotion involving the following:
- Street marketing is being organized by FUSE Marketing Group of Toronto . Teams are being dispatched in Toronto , Calgary and Vancouver .
- The lunchandlearn.ca website and associated interactive creative was developed by Toronto-based agency, 58Ninety Inc.
- Radio advertising was developed by Round Table Advertising of Toronto.
- Public relations activities are being handled by Environics Communications Inc., also of Toronto .
For more information about the program and for a chance to win a $5,000 dream vacation or one in five weekend getaways, go to www.workopolis.com and click on the Lunch and Learn button. Lunch bag recipients are eligible for a special instant win draw for one of 100 summer picnic bags simply by entering the PIN located on the postcard inside their bag.
Workopolis is Canada 's largest and most popular Internet recruiting and job search solutions provider with over 3 million unique visitors monthly in Canada and twice as many job postings as the nearest competitor.
Workopolis provides a fully bilingual suite of award-winning applications, products and services to both large and small Canadian companies:
workopolis.com™, Canada's biggest job site—with the most jobs, visitors and employers of any Canadian job site plus, intuitive screening tools and powerful resumé database search tools help connect employers with the best fit" candidates faster and more efficiently.
workopolisCampus.com, Canada 's biggest job site for students and recent graduates
CorporateWorks™, Canada 's most implemented recruitment management solution. using the tools that power workopolis.com to power corporate career sites.
Workopolis is a partnership of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada . Workopolis has offices in Vancouver , Calgary , Edmonton , Winnipeg , Guelph , Toronto , Ottawa , Montreal and Halifax .
Workopolis is the exclusive Official Supplier of Online Recruitment Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
-30- About the poll: The poll was conducted by Decima Research between June 28th and July 3rd, 2007 via a national omnibus telephone survey among a representative sample of 577 working Canadians. The margin of error is +/-4.1%. For further information: Amy Davidson Environics Communications 416-969-2830 Jill Anzarut Environics Communications 416-969-2708