Food for Thought: 4 in 10 Canadians Resort to Unhealthy Food Choices to Combat Energy Slumps During the Work Day

    TORONTO, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - A new poll commissioned by Workopolis indicates
that almost half (49 per cent) of Canadian workers report a noticeable dip in
energy at least once a week during the work day. This has 42 per cent of
Canadians reaching for a pick-me-up in the form of a cup of coffee or sugary
snack, despite the fact that more than three-quarters (77 per cent) believe
that what they eat during the work day affects their productivity at work.
    "You really are what you eat. Not only do the foods we choose have a
substantial affect on our overall health and well-being, but they also impact
how productive we are during the workday," said Kristen Schiener, Registered
Nutritionist. "Many Canadians are resorting to a pop or sugary snack when
they're feeling tired and then experiencing the yo-yo effect - they have a
brief surge in energy, followed by a substantial crash."
    To highlight the importance of healthy food choices, Workopolis is
offering commuters in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver the chance to "lunch and
learn" today. A lunch bag, along with tips on fitness, vacation and work-life
balance are being handed out so that Canadians can learn how to be more
productive at work.

    Junk the junk food at work

    Over half of respondents (56 per cent) of the Lunch and Learn Poll
indicated that their workplace does not provide any healthy food or beverage
snack options. "Vending machines are a fixture in many Canadian workplaces;
the contents of which are contributing to our waistlines but not our
companies' bottom lines," said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis.
    In fact, unhealthy food choices have the complete opposite effect. The
International Labour Office reports that inadequate nourishment has cut
productivity in the workplace by up to 20 per cent.

    Break for breakfast

    Three in ten working Canadians (27 per cent) are relying on coffee alone
to kick start their work day, or not having anything at all for breakfast. The
younger generation (aged 18-24) are the most likely to keep hitting the snooze
button rather than make time for breakfast, with 29 per cent saying they skip
breakfast on a typical work day.
    "Skipping breakfast or running on coffee alone is like trying to drive a
car only on fumes, which we all know is not sustainable," said Schiener. "Grab
a piece of fruit. It's easy to eat on the way into work and is the perfect
answer for anyone claiming they have no time for breakfast!"

    What's for lunch Canada?

    -   62 per cent of Canadians are Plan Aheaders who pack a healthy lunch
        from home, like a sandwich or salad. "A well-balanced meal made by
        you is the best way to know you're getting a nutritious lunch, and
        sandwiches made with whole grain breads or colourful salads topped
        with raw seeds and legumes are great choices for keeping your energy
        high throughout the day," said Schiener.

    -   10 per cent of Canadian workers are Eaters on the Run who have a
        salad or sandwich on the go.

    -   Leisurely Lunchers make up 9 per cent of Canadian workers. "It isn't
        just what you eat - it's how you eat it as well. Sitting down to
        digest a meal properly will help you stay focused on work rather than
        on food," said Schiener.

    -   Six per cent of Canadian workers are Starved for Time and appear to
        be working too hard to stop for a lunch break. "Without lunch your
        brain also starves and you will feel a definite low in energy mid-
        afternoon, setting you up for cravings of unhealthy choices like
        sugary treats and caffeinated drinks," said Schiener.

    -   Fast Food Fanatics make up 5 per cent of the Canadian workforce and
        rely on hot dogs or a slice of pizza for energy. "You will be much
        more productive if you fuel your body, rather than just feed it.
        Stick with whole foods which are a much better caloric investment,"
        said Schiener.

    -   Microwave Mealers pack a frozen meal and make up just 3 per cent of
        Canadian workers.

    Nutritional tips for greater workplace productivity:

    -   Aim for balanced meals and snacks throughout the day by partnering a
        protein with carbohydrates. You'll feel full longer and regulate your
        energy for a longer period of time.

    -   Look to fuel up every three hours to avoid energy slumps and ensure
        you are at your most productive.

    -   Slow down - even if you don't have a full hour to go out for lunch,
        take the time to make lunch a priority. Spending a few minutes midday
        on lunch will give you a much greater return on investment in terms
        of energy later in the day.

    -   Stay hydrated all day long by keeping a refillable water bottle with
        you at all times. A lack of fluids can lead to difficulty
        concentrating and increased effort for physical work.

    For more information about where the Workopolis street teams will be or
for more productivity tips, go to and click on the Lunch
and Learn button.

    About Workopolis

    Workopolis is Canada's largest and most popular Internet recruiting and
job search solutions provider with over 3 million unique visitors monthly in
Canada and twice as many job postings as the nearest competitor.
    Workopolis provides a fully bilingual suite of award-winning applications,
products and services to both large and small Canadian companies:

    -, Canada's biggest job site - with the most jobs,
        visitors and employers of any Canadian job site plus, intuitive
        screening tools and powerful resumé database search tools help
        connect employers with the "best fit" candidates faster and more

    -, Canada's biggest job site for students and
        recent graduates

    -   CorporateWorks(TM), Canada's most implemented recruitment management
        solution, using the tools that power to power
        corporate career sites.

    Workopolis is a partnership of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca
Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.
Workopolis has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Guelph,
Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
    Workopolis is the exclusive Official Supplier of Online Recruitment
Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

    About the poll: The poll was conducted by Decima Research between
June 28th and July 3rd, 2007 via a national omnibus telephone survey among a
representative sample of 577 working Canadians. The margin of error is

For further information:

For further information: Amy Davidson, Environics Communications, (416)
969-2830; Jill Anzarut, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2708

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