Could porridge prevent accidents at work?

Plenty of studies show that eating breakfast every day has a positive impact on health, safety and performance. However, new research suggests that porridge could be a particularly viable breakfast choice.

During the construction of the Olympic Stadium for London 2012, workers were provided with cheap porridge to cut down on accidents in the workplace. The measure was introduced after it was discovered that more accidents occurred during the hour before lunchtime because workers had skipping breakfast and were unable to maintain high levels of concentration.

Lawrence Waterman, Head of Health and Safety at the Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA), claimed that accident levels peaked because workers were distracted by hunger. “We had canteens offering porridge for a £1 and accidents in the morning went down,” he said.

One worker told The Telegraph: “Lots of us ended up eating porridge in the morning to see us through to lunchtime and I must admit it did work.”

High-sugar breakfast cereals

Meanwhile, a breakfast-related survey from consumer research firm Which? suggests that eating porridge is a preferable to eating breakfast cereals in the morning. It found that 32 of the 50 cereals tested were high in sugar.

At 37%, Kellogg’s Frosties were the worst offender. However, even “healthy” cereals, such as Kellogg’s All Bran, Bran Flakes and Special K, contained high levels of sweetener. Nestlé’s Shredded Wheat was found to be the healthiest cereal, with low levels of sugar, fat and salt. Quaker Oats’ Oat So Simple Original and Weetabix also proved to be low in sugar.

While sweetened cereals might be tasty and give breakfast eaters a quick sugar high, they are likely to lead to hunger pangs and a sugar low within a couple of hours. For this reason, porridge is a better way to break the fast than many cereals that are currently on the market.

Health in the workplace

Many employers underestimate the importance of promoting [health in the workplace]. Providing information about nutrition, exercise and general wellbeing is a great first step, and this can either be carried out in-house or with the help of an occupational health advisor.

An occupational health expert like Medigold will be able to advise on these issues as well as providing a range of other services which can help  reduce sickness in the workplace and the costs associated with sickness absence.

Contact Medigold today to find out more.

Related Links

health in the workplace |uk occupational health providers