Last week, we launched our new blog series on health and wellness in the workplace. Below, we're providing four straightforward strategies to get your organization started on its wellness path.
1. Stock up the kitchen with healthy snacks and/or offer "healthy" vending machines. It's common for people to feel a dip in energy in the early afternoon hours. The problem is what people do to combat the energy drain. Sugary snacks might give you an initial boost, but they'll end up causing more brain fog in the end (not to mention the detrimental effects sugar has on the body). Instead, make healthy snacks available in the kitchen, such as apples, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. Simply dedicate a certain "budget" to stocking the kitchen and make it someone's job to manage it.
"Healthy" vending machines are another option—just make sure the items in the machines are actually healthy. Need to know how to get started? Here's "A Blueprint for Healthier Vending" that The Chicago Department of Public Health issued in 2013.
2. Start a lunchtime walking club. Use a portion of employees' lunch hours for an energetic stroll around company grounds. Even 15-20 minutes of brisk walking daily can have a huge impact on your overall health, including helping to alleviate symptoms of depression, strengthening your heart, and improving cognitive function.
Offering incentives is a great way to get people to stay committed. For example, the person who logs the most "walk time" per quarter receives a gift certificate to a local sporting goods store for new sneakers.
3. Set up a nap room. Yeah, we know what you're thinking: you want us to encourage sleeping on the job?! But hear us out. Reports suggest that midday naps for 20 minutes can rejuvenate a person and help boost productivity (not to mention making people less grumpy).
4. Communicate and educate. Sometimes people just need regular reminders and increased awareness about health and wellness issues. Do you have regular content that goes out to employees (maybe a company-wide newsletter or something to that effect)? Consider adding a wellness section.
For example, in one issue, you could list calories of popular fast food joints AND provide healthier options people can choose from those places. In another issue, you could list calories burned by doing simple things around the office, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or bringing trash to the Dumpster out back.
Join us next week when we share four more tips. Or if you want to get all of our workplace wellness strategies right now, download the complete guide: 12 Ways to Foster Wellness in the Workplace.