Nine 2 five health

Coffee break?

Posted by: Julie Meek

Here at Healthier Workplace WA, we know how important it is to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting during your work day.

Research shows that being desk or chair bound at work for long periods can pose a serious health risk. Even if you exercise before or after work, extended periods of sitting during the day are harmful to your health and cannot be undone by a session at the gym or a brisk walk later on - they are separate health issues altogether.

Sitting for long periods of time has become a common feature of many professions. Whether you are bound to the office computer or clocking up the kilometres behind the wheel of a taxi or truck, our work days are seemingly becoming more and more sedentary. 

While many of us receognise the importance of breaking the umbilical cord with our chair and getting some exercise during our work day, all too often it's to indulge in something that places our health under even greater pressure.

It's smooth and velvety and probably calling to you right now... c-o-f-f-e-e.

Now, I'm not saying I don't enjoy a coffee every now and then but it's important to consider the impact of a cafe latte or even a choc milk can have on your day.

Considering the hours spent sitting and the comforting pick-me-ups on top of that and you have a recipe for a bad day at the office (health-wise that is).

So, before you have that second brew for the day, consider this:


Medium sized beverage  Kilojoules      Fat(g) Sugar(g)
Skinny Latte 403 0.3 14
Flat White      705              9.6  12
Cappucino     67  9.6 12
Hot chocolate      1037  9.7    29
Ice coffee (600ml)   1713   15  57.6
Choc milk (600ml)       1587  10.8 50.4

That's some serious kJs, sugar and fat to boot.

On the plus side, many cafes and roadhouses do use reduced-fat milk when they are making beverages due to the superior frothing ability. When considering the large amount of fat, sugar and kJs in various types of full cream coffee, it is advisable to request reduced-fat milk.

Flavoured milks are also a popular choice for many but can be equivalent to eating a meal (kJ wise). When choosing flavoured milk it is best to select the reduced-fat 300ml variety, which provides a smaller number of kJs while contributing a serve of calcium. If you are on the road and concerned you'll fall victim to some unhealthy drinks, or food for that matter, the Healthier 'on the go' meals and snacks brochure is a great resource to keep your health on track.

All up, enjoying a coffee can be an acceptable snack in a small portion size when made with reduced-fat milk and without added sugar. Just remember, taking regular breaks from behind the desk or wheel is vital to your health and wellbeing, just as your drink choices are when a coffee break beckons.

Until next time :)




About Julie Meek

Accredited practising dietitian, performance specialist, speaker

View all posts by Julie Meek

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