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How to Promote Health and Wellness in the Workplace
  • 24 January 2019
  • Tiffany C Wright

How to Promote Health and Wellness in the Workplace

The holidays have come and gone, and you and your staff have returned to the office ready to take on the new year. Most likely, some if not all of your employees have made New Year's resolutions to work on different aspects of their health and wellness in 2019, whether they involve losing weight, starting a meditation practice or finishing a 5K.

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Since many of us spend most of our day at work, finding ways to work toward these goals at the office is key to helping your team follow through on these important resolutions. Follow some of these tips to promote health and wellness in the workplace and help you and your team have your healthiest and happiest year yet.

Conduct a snack audit

If your office has a common kitchen or break room, take an inventory of the snacks you keep on hand for employees. Are your cabinets full of prepackaged, sugary junk food? While these snacks can be irresistible for a late-morning or afternoon pick-me-up, they are full of empty calories and can cause a major sugar crash.

Ask your team for healthy snack ideas and what they would like to see in the break room. Some ideas to help you get started include nuts, like almonds or cashews, sunflower seeds, popcorn, granola, carrot sticks and hummus, and fruit. If you have a vending machine with candy and soda in your office, look into replacing it with one that sells healthier snacks and sparkling water.

Start a running, jogging or walking club

Around lunch time, get a group in your office together to walk, run or jog around town for 20 or 30 minutes. If you work alone, ask other small business owners in the area if they would be interested in joining you.

Not only will the group exercise boost morale and contribute to team building, but staff will return to the office more energized and focused. A recent study showed that regular cardio exercise such as walking increased the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain used for memory and learning.

Exercising as a group keeps employees accountable, as it's harder to bail when your colleagues are asking you to join them on a walk or run. And if you work out with a fellow business owner, think of it as a daily networking session.

Partner with other small businesses

Look into partnering with health- and wellness-related small businesses in your community. If possible, join forces with a local gym to offer your employees a discounted membership. Or contact an area yoga studio, spin studio, massage therapist or meditation studio and inquire if they can offer your staff discounted classes and services.

Make it a competition

If your team is competitively inclined, create a competition in which everyone tries to take the most steps each day or lose the most weight in 6 months, for example. With the help of your staff, think of "challenges" that employees can work toward, such as completing a Couch to 5K training program, meditating daily or taking the stairs instead of the elevator each morning to get to your office.

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Sponsor a local race

Contribute to a race that takes place in your community and, as part of your sponsorship, sign up a team from your office to run and to volunteer.

Healthy employees make for happy employees. When you and your staff are eating well, exercising and taking time to cultivate their work/life balance and mental health, you will notice increased productivity and morale. Here's to a healthy 2019!

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