5 corporate canteen tips that can help combat workplace stress
A healthy workload is not a bad thing; unhealthy work stress can result in absenteeism. As an employer, it is important to prevent excessive work pressure (psychosocial workload, Article 1 of the Working Conditions Act (Arbowet)). Poor nutrition has a negative effect on stress. That’s why we provide five company canteen tips that can help counteract stress. Useful for determining, for example, what foods and furnishings might be of value in the company cafeteria!
Tip #1: Facilitate healthier energy boosters
A common response to stress is to overeat. Junk food gives us a brief boost of energy and this is exactly what our bodies want under stress. Stress makes the body want quick energy. However, junk food can actually make stress symptoms worse in the long run. It is therefore advisable to offer alternatives. Fiber gives energy and also ensures a stable blood sugar level, which junk food does not do. Healthy foods for the company cafeteria that give an energy boost can be an oat baror whole grain products, berries, blackberries orraspberries.
Tip #2: Alternatives to coffee and energy drinks
Coffee (caffeine) and energy drinks (caffeine and sugar) give us a brief boost of energy. Yet, too much caffeine leads to stress feelings (what is too much varies greatly from person to person). Caffeine increases blood flow to the brain, breaks down B-Vitamins and stimulates stress hormones.
In the short term, energy drinks help with fatigue. Problems arise when you use energy drinks long-term to stay awake. It contains a lot of sugar and caffeine as well as taurine and glucuronolactone. In fact, it is so harmful that pediatricians want a ban on selling energy drinks to young people under 18.
Alternatives to coffee and energy drinks include water and herbal teas. Getting employees to drink enough water can be supported by offering water bottles at work. Water alone may be a little boring, so facilitate flavorings such as lemon, ginger or mint. Some teas contain the substance amino acid l-theanine (such as matcha tea and green tea). These teas help against stress.
Tip #3: Facilitate nutrition with substances that can prevent or counteract stress
Stress reduces the immune system making one more susceptible to diseases. Healthy eating reduces stress. Food with the right nutritions can be helpful in reducing stress. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce a jittery feeling. Foods that contain this substance are tuna, mackerel,salmon, herring, avocado and walnuts.
Vitamin C helps lowering cortisol, a hormone produced when stressed. Vitamin C is found in oranges, strawberries and blackcurrants.
Magnesium is a mineral that works against stress. It can be found in unsalted peanuts, bananas, avocado, dark chocolate (cocoa) & whole wheat bread.
Zinc keeps the immune system healthy. It can be found in whole grain products and dark chocolate.
B vitamins are also important for counteracting stress. Eggs, citrus fruits and avocados contain b vitamins.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter. It inhibits overactivity and regulates stress. GABA is made by the brain, but the older you get the worse the body can make its own GABA. Fortunately, GABA is also found in foods. It can be found in soy, broad beans, almonds, walnuts, tomatoes and eggs.
Tip #4: Cozy, personal & comfortable
The design of the company canteen is very important for counteracting stress. A company cafeteria that differs in it’s design from the workplace will be more of a space where colleagues can relax with each other. Socializing can be promoted, for example, by setting up a ping pong table in the cafeteria. In addition, organize a special day once a week where something healthy is eaten together, such as fish day. In addition, fill your cafeteria with flowers and plants to make it a natural environment. Also, for example, hang a personal calendar in the cafeteria that lists birthdays and important personal moments of staff. Make it a tradition to celebrate birthdays. In this way, you improve the bond among staff and this is good for the feeling of really being seen and belonging in the organization.
Tip #5: Lunch walks
Half an hour a day of moderate intensity exercise is recommended. It may help to facilitate this exercise after or before meal time, so employees can take a lunch walk with colleagues. Employees who exercise enough are less likely to be sick and feel mentally healthier. This helps reduce absenteeism.
We hope with the above company canteen tips that your canteen becomes a place for vitality and health!