Workplace Wellness & Fresh Food: The Desk Lunch Dilemma

Eating at a desk is nothing new. We see it in office spaces everywhere. Workers are tucked away in cubicles. Digital nomads log hours from home. Or creative entrepreneurs share a communal working space. Regardless of industry, people across the U.S. eat lunch at their desk. And more often than not, this desk-side lunch is a pre-packaged, microwaveable dish, or a quick bite of takeout from down the street. When it comes to workday lunches, we prioritize convenience over nutrition. And when we don’t fuel our bodies with fresh food, workplace wellness takes a hit.workplace wellness desk lunch

Workplace Wellness: The Statistics

More than 60% of U.S. professionals admit that they regularly eat lunch at their desks. Meanwhile, only 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. The FDA suggests that adults consume at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit each day, and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables. Could desk lunches be hindering our fresh food intake? After all, when surveyed, working people said that one of the biggest barriers that prevents them from eating healthy is time. One thing’s for sure: when we limit the time we allow ourselves to refuel, we’re more likely to reach for unhealthy foods. And when we eat in our own office environment, we put pressure on ourselves to get back to work, quick—or to multitask through the meal.

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Photo by Bethany Newman

Food Stash Problems

And then, office culture offers another temptation: food stashes. These supplies of food can be kept either private or public. But they all become a hindrance to workplace wellness. Think: desk drawers with stashed-away sugar-loaded granola bars, a bag of chips saved for later, and whatever snacks you might keep within an arm’s reach, from 9 to 5. Then, there’s the public stash: countertops stocked with more than a coffee machine: leftover doughnuts, catering trays from a corporate meeting, and chocolates that your dieting coworkers wanted to remove from their homes.

workplace wellness unhealthy food
Photo by James Oladujoye

Healthy Lunch Made Easy

Limited time combined with unhealthy food options might seem like challenging barriers to overcome on the path toward workplace wellness. After all, workers can order prepared meals on food delivery apps. Or, they can call for takeout and carry just about anything right back to their desk. But the thing is, when we eat a quick lunch at our desks, we’re oftentimes too focused on convenience to consider the nutritional quality of our meals. And when empty calories leave us feeling unsatisfied, we’re more likely to reach for a prepackaged afternoon snack.

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Photo by Buenosia Carol

Healthy Workers, Happy Office

This is one of the many reasons why at Alfrea, we focus on online ordering and convenience. You save time on grocery shopping—and you don’t even have to set foot in the supermarket. And we deliver produce to your workplace or community so you won’t have to worry about pickup. By supplying all individuals in an office space with fresh fruits and vegetables, employees will eat more fruits and vegetables by default. And when they prepare these fresh foods at home and supply themselves with produce-packed home-cooked meals that they can bring to the office, workplace wellness gets a boost. When people cook their own delicious food, they’ll want to share the recipes that they love. And by bringing home-cooked meals to the office, workers can encourage one another to share around a communal table, step away from their desks for a break, and work better together.

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