Employees who are actively interested in their health and wellbeing are more likely to be happy, engaged and productive at work. While you certainly cannot tell your employees how to live their lives, you can nudge them in the right direction by creating a health-based workplace culture where healthy choices are actively encouraged. That can be as simple as making healthy food available in the office and giving staff access to subsidised or free fitness activities.
With that in mind, here are a few simple steps that you can take to foster a health-based work culture in your business.
End food-based incentives
Workplaces can be very unhealthy places, particularly when hours spent sitting at a desk and high levels of stress are compounded by high sugar snacking and junk food. Pizza Fridays and workplace cake days are just a few of the treats that bosses give their teams. But rather than loading up on bad food, why not consider alternative treats such as shopping vouchers, massages, and cinema tickets, that can be beneficial rather than damaging to your teams?
Put healthy foods within easy reach
In many workplaces, it’s often the case that healthy food is not readily available. Making sure your employees have healthy food options can make all the difference to the choices they make. You can use the leading workplace fruit provider Fruitful Office to supply regular fruit baskets to your teams, they also have the option to deliver fruit baskets to employees working from home if some of your team is still remote working. You can check out their website here. You can also fill vending machines with nuts, dried fruit and other healthy snacks to help avoid that afternoon sugar crash.
Tailor fitness perks to suit your teams
Talk to your team about the fitness-based benefits that they value the most. While cycle to work schemes that save them money on bikes and accessories might be valuable to some (more on these schemes here), those who cannot or prefer not to cycle to work might make better use of subsidised gym memberships. Allowing your workers to tailor their own benefits package will ensure that they receive health-based perks that they value and use.
Encourage staff to take regular breaks
Sitting in the same position for long periods can be hugely damaging to our health. An analysis of 13 studies found that people who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity face similar risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking. Source here from the Mayo Clinic.
To overcome these risks, some simple steps that you can encourage in your workplace include:
- Taking a break from sitting every 30 minutes
- Standing while talking on the phone
- Working at a standing desk, high table or counter
- Walking with colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a meeting room
Set up team-based fitness activities
For some of your employees, team-based fitness activities might be their idea of hell, but there’ll be plenty of others who’d relish the chance to play in a work 5-a-side football, softball, or touch rugby team. As well as increasing levels of health, happiness and productivity, it can also improve team morale and the relationships between employees.