Wellness in the Office

September 30, 2016

By: Marlene Cosain

Company wellness programs are popular for a variety of reasons, but have you taken a second to consider the benefits implementing a plan of this sort can have on your company? The myth states that wellness programs are costly, and there is not enough of a significant return on investment; however, the common belief excludes the equation of healthy employees = better business. Given this equation, the healthier your employees are, the happier they feel, therefore, producing more efficient labor in the workplace. Unhealthy employees tend to transfer their overtired habits to the workplace, and with just a small budget you can change that.  Encouraging a healthier lifestyle will lead to fewer sick days and higher productivity rates.

Here are four cost-effective tips on creating an inspiring and motivational environment:

Group Exercises

Statistics highlight that 30 minutes of physical activity each day can diminish a variety of costly health problems. Whether your budget allows for the implementation of a small exercise room or simply hosting after-hour team exercises, the goal is to get everyone moving for at least 30 minutes in the day. You can do this by holding after-hour group sessions that increase communication throughout your team and help them engage in different exercises. Also, you can encourage stair usage v. elevator usage. Engage in fun days like Ride Your Bike to Work Day, or you can even buy a few yoga balls to replace desk chairs. Whenever one of your team members is tired of their chair they can switch to sitting on a yoga ball that can help with posture and toning of the body.

Eating Healthy

Those who engage in potlucks are often surrounded by delicious foods that tend to be high in calories. We love to eat a slice or two of our manager’s home-made desert, our coworker’s BBQ chicken and another coworker’s pasta, but who is responsible for bringing the vegetable/ fruit platter? Adding healthy snacks or alternatives to the table is a quick and easy way to create an environment of healthy choices. You can also encourage one team member to contribute one healthy dish at each potluck and include the recipe. This will give the rest of your team different healthy ideas to eat on a day-to-day basis. Another great idea is to trade that vending machine full of chocolate and potato chips for a healthier vending machine. You can look for vending machines that include energy bars, nuts and fruits.

 Applications that Encourage Fitness

Downloading apps onto our phones is a perfect personal approach to wellness. Applications such as Runtastic, Gain Fitness and Fitness Fast personalize your individual goals. These applications give you tips on how to reach your fitness goal, track your progress and much more. Every employee can download apps of this sort to their smart phones, so they can track how much they walk in a day or track their daily exercise. Employees are competitive, so why not make the wellness into a competition. At the end of the month, whoever excelled in a specific area will receive a reward or gift card.

Addressing a Common Health Risk

As a business owner it is important to know your staff. If there is a common health concern among your staff you can help them make a step towards overcoming it. For example, if seven out of your twelve employees smoke cigarettes daily, this is a common health concern in your office.  If your employees are willing to buy patches, gum or other forms to treat addiction offer to pay half of their expense. This will motivate your team to address and try to overcome their addiction to cigarette smoking.

As the New Year is approaching, promoting a healthy environment should be on every owner’s resolution list.

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