Meals at work: integrating social and architectural aspects

Maria Nyberg, Tenna Doktor Jensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how eating, the built environment and social relations are related through the concept of a meal, in the hope that workplaces managers will consider more than nutrition and exercise in their future health strategies.

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on the findings of a sociological empirical study on workplace eating habits and an architectural theoretical study on the impact of built environment on meal experiences in general.

    Findings – Together, the findings of the two studies imply that management considerations on healthy workplace eating should be supplemented with more conscious architectural and social considerations on how built environment stages certain meal behaviors and facilitate bonding among employees.

    Research limitations/implications – More research needs to be done in order to better understand the relationship between intentional staging of the meal and health aspects in workplaces. This must include both developments within research methods, a larger sample of workplaces, as well as the possibility to make interventions within this particular area.

    Practical implications – The paper argues that contemporary workplaces have lost their ability to fully stage meals, and proposes that a research strategy should be developed, broadening the healthy workplace meal approach with that of social science and architectural design.

    Originality/value – This exploratory effort to combine sociological perspectives in the study of the meal at work with theories from architectural design has been fruitful in comprehending the full complexity of providing opportunities for healthier meals at work. The paper is of value to workplace managers, suggesting they consider more than nutrition and exercise in their future health strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)222-232
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Workplace Health Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Nutrition and Dietetics (30304)


    • Architecture
    • Diet
    • Nutrition
    • Social interaction
    • Sweden
    • Workplace


    Dive into the research topics of 'Meals at work: integrating social and architectural aspects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this