The stress of modern living hits those who work long hours and don’t find enough time to unwind and relax. This often causes a domino effect, leading to overeating and unhealthy dinner habits. But according to new research there’s a simple, non-harmful way to rectify the problem: a good night’s sleep.
A new study published in Journal of Applied Psychology is one of the first to look at organizational habits exploring how our psychological experiences at work can have a direct effect on our eating behaviors.
The researchers examined 235 Chinese workers split into two different groups; the first worked in Information Technology and the second worked for a telecommunications company. They are typically considered high-stress work environments, and similar results were reported by employees for both.
“We found that employees who have a stressful workday tend to bring their negative feelings from the workplace to the dinner table, as manifested in eating more than usual and opting for more junk food instead of healthy food,” said Chu-Hsiang “Daisy” Chang, MSU associate professor of psychology and study co-author.
“However, another key finding showed how sleep helped people deal with their stressful eating after work,” she added. “When workers slept better the night before, they tended to eat better when they experienced stress the next day.”
In the past year, research has shown that those who steer clear of sugary and high-carb foods and instead partake in a high-protein diet are more likely to have better sleep and lose weight.
“A good night’s sleep can make workers replenished and feel vigorous again, which may make them better able to deal with stress at work the next day and less vulnerable to unhealthy eating,” Chang went on to say.
One way to tackle the problem is for companies to emphasize the importance of health management for their employees. This could include sleep-awareness training and flexible scheduling to enable a better work-life balance. Another method that often increases employee happiness are company perks – but be warned, throwing snacks on the staff room table isn’t the best solution.
“Food-related perks may only serve as temporary mood-altering remedies for stressed employees,” Chang said, “and failure to address the sources of the work stress may have potential long-term detrimental effects on employee health.”
In any case, the answer is for companies to take a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of their staff.
At the Acupuncture and Wellness Center, we are ready to treat you and your employees for their lifestyle care. Maintaining a healthy workforce encourages an increase in productivity, fewer liabilities when it comes to medical costs, and an overall happier, healthier, and more stable work environment.
We have been approached by companies to treat their employees in order to improve their quality of life and work, and have found tremendous success with the results.
If you are a business owner and are looking to increase the vitality and health of your company, call us now.
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