Healthy Employees = Less Downtime

In today’s fast-paced society employees experience stress in the workplace on a daily basis. Work stress combined with other health conditions impact on the amount of sick leave taken and downtime of an employee and, in turn, effect the overall performance of a company. It is therefore imperative that employers pay increased attention to their employees’ wellness, especially over the winter months.

Here are a few tips to keep your employees Healthy in the work place:

Encourage healthier eating

Most of us know that eating healthy can help prevent future diseases such as diabetes and cancer, however did you know that unhealthy eating is linked with a 66 percent increased risk of loss of productivity? Here are a few changes you can make as an employer to encourage healthy eating at the workplace:

1. Provide a fridge for employees to bring in healthy lunches from home.

2. Provide a fruit bowl for free fruit.

3. Replace sugary drinks in your staff fridge with healthy options such as fruit juice and water.

4. Consider installing a juicer, blender and sandwich press so your team can make their lunches.

5. If you have in-house catering, provide and consider subsidizing healthy food and drink options.

6. Ensure any on-site vending machines contain water, low-sugar drinks and healthy snacks.

7. Invite a dietitian in to speak to your team and provide healthy eating plans

Develop a smoke free workplace

Reducing the effects of smoking in the workplace is paramount to better employee health.:

1. Ensure your workplace and all company vehicles are smoke free.

2. Develop a smoke free events policy.

Encourage more exercise

Encouraging employees to exercise is a great way to improve physical and mental health. It needn’t be expensive either, with plenty of low cost methods, including;

1. Encourage walking or standing meetings.

2. Create and fund an employee sports team.

3. Encourage employees to enter fun runs and charity events as a team building event.

4. Install bike racks in your staff car park.

5. If you have a elevator, encourage the team to take the stairs.

6. Have a yoga instructor or fitness coach come in and run sessions in the workplace.

7. Install a shower for employees who ride or run to your workplace.

8. Provide wearable trackers to your employees.

Improve mental health

As an employer, you have a responsibility to look out for your employees mental health and take the necessary steps to help if necessary. Some ways you can do this in the workplace,include:

1. Encourage positive communication in the workplace.

2. Train managers on mental health strategies.

3. Run employee polls or surveys to get valuable feedback on the company morale.

4. Keep an eye on your colleagues and know what to look for.

5. Have strategies in place to deal with bullying and unprofessional behavior in your workplace.

6. Have a professional give advice on stress reduction techniques to all employees.

7. Look at running a meditation course or weekly reflection time.

Avoid sitting for too long

Scientists have analysed the lifestyles of men and women over the age of 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54% more likely to die of heart attacks. Here are some tips to reduce sitting for too long:

1. Install standing desks.

2. Install cycle chairs.

3. Encourage stand up meetings.

4. Encourage the team to take regular breaks during the day.

5. Run a 10 minute stretch program each day (twice a day is even better).

6. Ask your team to eat lunch away from their computer.

Reduce alcohol intake

According to health professionals, there are a significant number of alcohol-related diseases and health problems caused by alcohol consumption, including cancer (bowel, breast, throat, mouth, liver) and cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart failure as well as mental health problems. Some tips to reduce alcohol consumption include:

1. Promote responsible drinking at company events, such as celebrations or social events.

2. Provide non alcoholic options at all company functions.

3. Avoid regularly providing alcohol at your workplace.

4. Consider workplace stress as a trigger to high-risk or problem drinking.

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