With work-related stress costing the UK 10.4 million working days annually and 41% of the British workforce spending less than 30 minutes on their feet during the average work day, our professional lives are increasingly sedentary and unhealthy. In fact, our poor professional health could be costing our economy up to £14bn every year. How can fresh fruit benefit your workforce?
Free, fresh fruit in the office is a current corporate trend which employers are increasingly adopting as part of a wider drive to help make their workplaces healthier. According to a recent study conducted by Fruitful Office, it’s not just employers keen to push this healthy envelope. Staff, too, are keen to get in better shape at work; 87% of staff members polled would prefer to be employed by a company which offered health and wellbeing support.
It may be a small gesture, but as a first step towards healthier offices, free fruit is clearly making a big impact. But which of your “five a day” are best for boosting health and productivity in the workplace? We take a closer look at some of the more beneficial bunches and punnets employers should be stocking up on…
Best for: Overall health, memory & co-ordination
These juicy blueberries are a tasty treat sprinkled on granola, mixed into a fruit salad or simply nibbled alone as a mid-morning snack, but they’re also fantastic all-rounders when it comes to improving workplace health and even productivity and performance.
Famed as a superfood, blueberries are amongst the most antioxidant rich of common berries. While cranberries, raspberries and blackberries are all packed with antioxidants which can reduce and even prevent cell damage, blueberries come out on top every time.
Minimising cell damage caused by naturally occurring, free radical oxidants in our bodies is crucial for keeping us in tip top condition – particularly when it comes to our brains. This is what makes the humble blueberry such a powerful “office fruit” – its ability to protect our bodies and brains, boosting concentration, memory and processing power too!
Best for: Productivity, happiness & brain power
Anyone who pushes their bodies regularly with exercise will understand the power of the banana. The yellow fruit’s potassium and magnesium can prevent muscle cramps, its high tryptophan levels can be converted into serotonin (the “happy” brain chemical), its slow release sugars are amazing for sustaining energy with no crash, its blood sugar-regulating abilities can reduce stress and the 25g of glucose in a banana is the precise amount our bloodstreams need to power our brains at their highest level. And that’s just for starters. Time to get unpeeling…
Best for: Healthy diets, boosting brain power
They may be a pain to prepare, but pomegranates are worth the effort. Just like berries, they’re a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, but they’re also great for keeping you full up until lunch time. This is down to their high fibre content, which is ideal for helping staff avoid naughty snacking which can cause obesity as well as energy spikes and crashes during the day (a productivity no-no).
But pomegranates aren’t just good for boosting concentration and keeping hunger at bay. Studies suggest they’re all-round miracle fruits containing a polyphenol called punicalagin believed to help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimers and to improve mental performance – it can even reduce dental plaque!
Best for: Energy & convenience
Convenient, crunchy and full of slow-release energy (especially when dipped in peanut butter!), the classic apple is an essential office fruit. This staple is packed with positives, including lots of soluble fibre which is crucial for avoiding blood sugar spikes while maintaining energy. This soluble fibre is also a fantastic dietary ingredient for those keen to reduce cholesterol, control appetite and improve their overall health.
Best for: Problem solving
A tasty handful of grapes contains a tiny 90 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, almost zero sodium and plenty of workplace benefits. The most exciting of these benefits is a dopamine production boost which can help improve happiness levels while aiding problem solving and memory retention.
Do you offer fruit at your office? Has the introduction of free, fresh fruit made an impact on your workforce? Do you have a fruit which helps you get more from your working day? Share your stories, experiences and your favourite office fruits with other readers below.