According to the CDC, Americans spend nearly 100,000 hours at work over the course of their lives. This makes the workplace one of the best contexts for improving individual wellness. In addition, the CDC adds that these workplace wellness programs significantly improve employee satisfaction, morale, productivity, and presenteeism.
In fact, Northern Arizona University conducted a workplace intervention, around the specific area of nutrition with an evidence-based micronutrient dense, plant-rich diet (mNDPR). Their nutrition approach involves 4 tenets:
- Micronutrient rich (e.g. plant-derived phytochemical, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals)
- Nutritionally adequate and diverse
- Hormonally favorable, avoiding carbohydrates w/ a high glycemic index that could elevate levels of serum insulin & minimizing animal protein that may invoke an inflammatory response
- Encouraging of regular intake, with an emphasis on meals and not snacks, with an overnight fast of at least 12 hours.
- Lastly, it did not emphasize macronutrient percentages, portion sizes, or calorie counting.
Without any emphasis or encouragement of physical activity, the 6-week and 12-week pilot study yielded some surprising results. Here are some of them:
- Median weight loss of 21 pounds
- Waist measurements reduced 1.88 inches and hips by 1.5 inches
- Reduction in LDL and HDL Cholesterol
- 47% of participants on 1-4 medications reduced the amount of medications taken
- Medical cost savings of $232,000