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Promoting Healthy Lifestyles in the Workplace



Promoting Healthy Lifestyles in the Workplace

People who work in an office setting often spend the majority of their day sitting at their desks.  Many studies have discovered that sitting for long periods over an extended amount of time leads to several health problems.  One of the effects of sitting all day is a lower metabolism.  When combined with the often unhealthy microwave meals that people rely on for lunch, weight gain and the negative effects it brings are often the results.  Promoting healthy lifestyles in the workplace can be good for you, your employees, and your bottom line.

Motivational Gifts
You could offer motivational gifts to employees to encourage them to adopt a healthier lifestyle in the workplace.  Your office could have contests throughout the year that reward improvement.  If you choose a wellness reward program, be careful not to offend anyone in the office.  Make sure the motivational gifts and rewards recognize improvements that each individual has made. Prizes that are awarded for employee wellness can include the following:

* Pedometers
* Bike pumps
* Wellness Management Guides or Exercise Journals
* Stress Management Guides
* Inspirational Magnets and Stickers
* Gift Cards to healthy restaurants or grocery stores
* Gym Memberships
* Message Bracelets
* Hand Sanitizer
* Exercise Apparel
* Post It Notes in the shape of fruits and vegetables
* Pens or Notepads with inspirational messages

Get Moving
A well-known TV personality, Dr. Oz, purchases treadmill desks for his office.  Oprah recommends treadmill desks and mini exercise bikes as a way to incorporate cardiovascular exercise at your desk.  Another way to get employees moving is to encourage walks at lunchtime.  You can also have your office-sponsored for charity runs or bike rides.

Employee wellness should also take into account the choices employees make for snacks and lunchtime meals.  You can offer healthy choices in the vending machines by removing most of the candy bars, cookies, and other sugary snacks and replacing them with dried fruit and nuts.  Be sure you are aware of any peanut or other food allergies and take those into account when you make selections for the vending machine.

During meetings, allow employees access to healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, dried fruit, or trail mix.  If meetings have to be scheduled around lunchtime, have them catered by a restaurant that offers healthy menu options.

Offer encouragement to all employees as they make the changes necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle.  In the beginning, making the switch to a healthy lifestyle can be a struggle.  With your support and encouragement, employee wellness will soon become a way of life for your workplace setting.