Almost a third of employees (30%) do not have time for a proper lunch break, and instead eat lunch at their desks while working, according to research by Canada Life.
More than a quarter (27%) tend to eat at odd times due to the stresses of work, and one in five (21%) said they plan to eat a healthy lunch but end up skipping it, turning to sugary snacks when they are bored or feel under pressure.
Employees appear to have a significant impact on each other’s eating habits too, with almost a quarter (24%) finding they snack on cakes and biscuits that have been bought to celebrate events or simply as office treats.
In addition, 8% said they tend to eat more junk food at work than at home, and 13% blame their weight gain on the food culture and stresses at work.
Work does not only impact on eating habits, but 46% of employees also said they miss exercise due to the demands of work.
Paul Avis, sales and marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “Employees are under an increasing pressure to perform at work; possibly a result of shrinking workforces and a difficult economic climate.
“It is extremely important that they look after their health and make choices that will help them to perform effectively, however demands upon their time mean that many have lapsed into bad habits, such as snacking on junk food rather than taking the time to plan healthy meals.
“Providing no support for a healthier lifestyle may be a missed opportunity for employers to motivate their workforce and help them to work at their full potential.
“By implementing schemes whereby they encourage employees to make healthy lifestyle choices, employers can prove that they value their workforce and want them to live healthily, and in doing so they are likely to see them perform more productively, which can only be good for the business.”
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