These days everyone wants the quick fix to get healthy. Take this pill, drink that miracle shake, eat this, not that. The health and wellness industry has grown exponentially over the last several years and continues to do so. Fitness centers alone across the United States grossed over $24.2 billion dollars in 2014. As an employer, you might ask yourself what you can do to help encourage healthy employees at work.
According to a Gallup Poll, unhealthy employees cost American businesses $153 billion a year in lost productivity. The survey polled nearly 110,000 full-time employees who self-reported their height, weight, and any chronic medical conditions they had. According to the poll, only 13.9 percent of employees are of normal height and weight with no chronic medical conditions. More than 30 percent of those polled reported being overweight or obese with one or two chronic medical conditions, and the poll found there to be a direct correlation with the healthiness of the employee and their attendance.
As an employer, there is an incentive to encourage healthy employees at work to ensure the highest level of productivity. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming for employers. Below are five easy ways to start promoting healthy employees at work.
1. One easy way to encourage employees to be healthy at work is starting a walking program. Many businesses provide pedometers to employees and encourage walking to promote a healthier lifestyle. Programs like WalkingSpree help track each employee’s step count throughout the day and make it easy to implement a walking incentive program. These incentives can be as simple as earning a casual day all the way up to gift cards for reaching various thresholds. Some businesses even build in 30 minutes of walking time on the clock, as well as rent treadmills to keep inside for rainy days.
2. Another way to promote health to your employees is to keep healthy snacks and foods available in the breakroom. Asking your employees to take ownership by sharing their favorite healthy recipes and organizing healthy potlucks are other great ways to promote healthy employees at work.
3. When you think of the traditional office setting, most employees spend the majority of their days sitting. One way to combat this is by offering standing or treadmill desks. A recent study found that employees who stand at their desk have a lower risk of obesity and cancer, as well as a longer life span.
4. Many fitness centers will offer a corporate rate if multiple employees sign up for memberships. This is an easy way for businesses to offer the option for a healthy lifestyle without having to spend a great deal of money.
5. Mental health is something that cannot be overlooked when considering employees’ health and is a vital part to encouraging employees to be healthy at work. Providing and encouraging breaks throughout the day is a great way to ensure employee’s stress levels are remaining low. Providing incentives to release stress is another great way employers can contribute to a positive mental health. One incentive can be as simple as asking a local massage therapist or chiropractor to visit your business and give massages to employees. This is a great way to give back to your employees and also provide a much needed mental break.
As a business owner, productivity is the pinnacle of how successful a business will be. If employees lack productivity, your business will greatly suffer. There is a great deal of research that supports the direct correlation between healthy employees at work and their individual productivity levels. Implementing these five simple tips can make a large impact on the healthiness of your employees at work.