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Major new survey reveals consumers want fruit at work

By: The Food Coach

With all those Apples and Blackberries dominating desks, briefcases and pockets you would think the Australian workplace is healthy. But according to a major new survey, if we were consuming anything like the quantity of Apples and Blackberries we are using, our workplace would be a whole lot healthier and more productive. Instead, almost a third of workers questioned ate no fruit at all and 60% actually failed to identify how much fruit a day they should be eating for good health.

  • 79.5% want to be employed by a company with healthy workplace initiatives.
  • 65% blame stress for lapse in healthy eating at work.
  • 68% fail to eat 2 servings fruit & 5 servings veggies a day

    The survey, conducted by the Fruit at Work 2011 National Workplace Health Index, was designed to gain a picture of employees' attitudes to workplace health and habits. In a wakeup call to employers, this year's survey revealed over 85% of Australian workers believe their workplace is unhealthy.

    Furthermore, over a third of workers believe it is now the shared responsibility of worker and employer to promote a healthy workplace. In light of these bold figures it is hard to believe that employers have done little to change the healthy status of the workplace despite the fact over a third of workers surveyed also believed it was becoming harder to maintain good health at work.

    Wendy Visontay, Founder of leading workplace fruit supplier, Fruit at Work commented, "Our survey results place a clear onus on businesses to provide healthier environments. The simple action of providing fruit at work goes a long way to showing staff their health and wellbeing is valued. We truly believe that employers who provide fruit, gain employees who bear fruit. Fruit boosts workplace productivity on so many levels as the essential nutrients in fruit help support a healthy immune system thus proactively minimising time lost due to a sick workforce. We know that for every $1 spent on workplace health, a business will yield $13 and in this current economic climate, this is not a figure to be ignored".

    Fruit at Work is a major advocate of workplace health and offers businesses more than the weekly dose of fruit for staff. The company is the only one in Australia that employs a nutritionist and a naturopath and they regularly provide employers and their workers with strategies to deal with workplace health.

    "We have amazing insights into companies since we deliver fruit to over 4,000 workplaces a week nationally. The businesses that come to us want to attract and retain the top talent. They know that traditional workplace benefits are a cost of entry nowadays so workplace health, coupled with a commitment to work/life balance, gives them the edge to make them the employer of choice," continued Visontay. "Technology has broken down the traditional office hours and boundaries putting more pressure on workers both in an out of the office. Since workers are feeling pressure to increase their productivity and be more available, their employers need to show they care and give back. An employer who genuinely cares about their employees' health and wellbeing will increase staff retention and have a happier workforce".

    As a result of the survey findings, the Fruit at Work in-house nutritionist has put together these Top 10 Tips for employees to eat healthier at work:

    1. Start the day with a proper healthy breakfast.
    2. Pack a healthy lunch at home. Not only will you save money, but you'll be less tempted by the biscuits and vending machines that might be provided at work.
    3. Don't skip regular meals. You will end up eating more unhealthily in the evening.
    4. Take a proper lunch break every day at a place other than your desk. If you can, move about and get out into the fresh air.
    5. Ask work to exchange the biscuits for fruit in the kitchen.
    6. Swap it! Exchange those morning and afternoon sugar snacks for a piece of fruit. Do this and you've eaten your recommended two pieces of fruit for the day!
    7. Co-workers influence what you eat so start leading by example.
    8. Stay active. Instead of sending that next email, walk over and chat to your colleague.
    9. Put your vending machine/treat money into an envelope and see how much you save every week.
    10. Talk to your employer about workplace health and suggest some initiatives.


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