(MENAFN - Gulf Times) In celebration of Nutrition Month, the Department of Human Nutrition at the College of Health Sciences, a member of the QU-Health at Qatar University, organised a webinar entitled 'Healthy and Active Employees during the Pandemic'. The event underlined that the Covid-19 pandemic has added various challenges and changes to human life worldwide. It represents a massive impact on human health, causing sudden lifestyle changes, especially for the employees working from home. Therefore, the webinar emphasised the importance of healthy eating habits and staying active during working hours and working from home in supporting the human health and immune system.
Many employees, staff and academics attended. The symposium discussed the importance of scheduling balanced meal and snacks, including all food groups in the meal, choosing healthier options, staying hydrated and limiting salt, sugar and fat sources in order to meet the nutritional needs and providing the employees with the required energy.
Parallel with measures taken by most countries worldwide, lockdowns affected dietary habits and physical activity level. Unfavourable dietary behaviors during the lockdown such as increased calorie intake, more frequent snacking, reduced consumption of fresh fruits and vegetable, and weight gain can affect many areas, but most importantly the immunity.
Moreover, levels of physical activity were negatively affected during quarantine. Overall movement restrictions have reduced the ability to engage in physical activity. This was accompanied with an increase in sedentary behaviours related to quarantine. Thus, the webinar emphasised the importance of physical activity during the pandemic in reducing stress, managing weight and reducing health implications. Several home-exercises examples such as yoga, rope jumping, walking, using the stairs or using resistance bands and dumbbells were presented.
At the workplace, taking breaks for walking and stretching will help boost energy levels, improve employee's fitness level and count toward meeting the guidelines. The correct diet with the appropriate activity level are an important and integral part of developing a strong immune system.
In support of the Nutrition Month's purpose in helping people to make correct food choices, the Department of Human Nutrition shared tips on social media about culinary techniques to modify traditional dishes and make it healthier.
Dr Tahra El-Obeid, head of QU's Department of Human Nutrition said: 'Working people consume about one third of their daily food intake at work and this can have a significant impact on their wellbeing and work performance. A well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet can prevent many diseases and conditions related to a poor diet. Several studies have also shown a connection between nutrition, physical wellbeing and effective work performance i.e. healthier employees tend to be more productive at work. One of the main objectives of the Department of Human Nutrition at the College of Health Sciences is to support the community in Qatar by providing them with dietitians to serve the population and with awareness campaigns to provide the public with required nutrition support.
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