But office cake is the first – and least offending – of a long list of potentially detrimental work eating habits
The Royal College of Surgeons of England (say that 10 times fast) believes addressing office ‘cake culture’ is the first step towards a better work-food relationship; introducing low-sugar alternatives (swapping biscuits in meetings for plain nuts) and eliminating high-sugar snacks from vending machines are some healthier alternatives. But what we eat while at work isn’t necessarily the biggest problem or worst habit to bust…it’s what we don’t eat.
Certain research suggests that office workers lose as much as 70% productivity from bad eating habits such as skipping breakfast, lunch or both. In England, Scotland and Wales the loss in productivity from workers skipping breakfast amounts to a combined £8.1 billion. BILLION. And that’s just if you’re skipping breakfast; if workers are skipping breakfast, lunch and snacks, that figure doubles.
In South Africa a recent survey of over 3000 office workers revealed that 20% skip their lunch breaks and of those who do take lunch 67% eat while working at their desks. Desk-eating opens up a whole new area of bad habits; it doesn’t just have implications for mindless overeating (you’re focusing on spreadsheets, not sandwiches) but not taking a dedicated, no-desk lunch break has been linked to greater fatigue and – once again – lower productivity.