Home Office Fact Sheet #5: Nutrition and Weight
Why is a healthy diet important in home office?
Obesity is increasingly common, especially with desk jobs. This is not surprising, because without paying attention, one hardly moves away from the screen. Of course, this consumes very little energy.
While some in the home office, under stress, give in to their desire for snacks unchecked, others completely forget the regular meals and then hungrily raid their fridge.
The result are health problems, and those are not just bad for ourselves, but also for our work performance. Those who eat a healthy diet, feel significantly fitter, more productive, but also healthier.
For those in a hurry, here are some tips in a short video. Below they are just written down. (If you want to read more, you can find detailed information in the Basics Fact Sheet.)
Home office nutrition – tips
Many consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. The metabolism works 24 hours a day without a break. While the skipped breakfast was previously declared to be extremely unhealthy, no evidence has been found in the end. So, if you don’t like to eat in the morning, you can leave it without a guilty conscience. If you have breakfast, you should pay attention to an energy and nutrient-rich meal and take enough time.
Snacks are tricky. Many have a high energy content and cater rather to the “hunger of the soul”. After a main meal, you do not actually need any additional energy for 6 hours. Those who want to lose weight, are better off avoiding snacks. If you can “afford” it, you should prepare small healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits or vegetables. This allows you to psychologically control the portion size of the snacks. Sweets, chips or the like are generally not recommended.
Pizza and numerous take-away dishes come with a high fat content and a lot of salt. Dishes rich in fat are heavy on the stomach and make you tired. As a result, concentration and productivity decrease. A light and digestible lunch is therefore often better.
Fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables not only strengthen the immune system through their content of vitamins and trace elements, but also supply the body with important fibre.
They are tasty as salads, desserts or snacks, and do not require much preparation. If you want to make no mistakes, create variety. Green leafy vegetables are the most important suppliers of folic acid, but are often forgotten. The best is to “eat through” all the colours in a week.
Meat and fish
Meat isn’t generally bad if you don’t want to eat vegetarian. Preparation is actually more important for health. Low-fat cooking methods are healthier.
You can also do without carbohydrates with meat and fish and just eat vegetables as a side dish.
Ideally, sea fish comes on the table once a week is fish. Sea fish provides omega-3 fatty acids and iodine.
A main reason for an unhealthy diet in the home office is surely the daily hassle. Numerous calls, video conferences, deadlines, childcare, shopping – everything has to be done at the same time.
Therefore, it is best to prepare snacks and larger meals the evening before. Vegetable sticks are easy to prepare, as are curd cheese with herbs or fruit and healthy whole grain slices. In this way you save time and you don’t let the hunger tempt you to order / buy too much or unhealthy the next day.
The absolute recommended amount of liquid has been around for a while, but has not been scientifically proven to be sustainable. Thirst is a good guide. Sufficient free liquid ensures well-being and curbs hunger. Water is better than drinks with sugar.
However, healthy eating is not everything. Regular exercise and sufficient exercise not only support health, but also reduce stress. (See Home Office Fact Sheet #4: Stay Healthy) As with many things in life, the right amount is important. Of course, you can treat yourself every now and then, to a delicious pizza with a glass of wine, or a little chocolate. If not on a daily basis, there is no problem with it.
In proven collaboration, the Institute for Leadership Dynamics (ILD) and Psychologie Halensee have developed a joint online program to strengthen resilience and leadership effectiveness in crises: the Remote Leadership & Collaboration program.
The fact sheets are part of the info package for internal employee communication with curated and quality-assured expert content on organisation, communication and health under the conditions of remote leadership & collaboration.