You don’t have to work for a large organization with a lot of money to embrace workplace wellness. Here are five things any workplace with two or more employees can do to foster a culture of health at work:
1. Provide a mini-fridge and a microwave. Lunches, snacks and beverages brought from home are frequently better for you than restaurant or vending machine food.
2. Agree as a staff to limit treat days. Not to sound like a party pooper, but frequent treat days sabotage employees’ best intentions to eat healthier. Our built-in instincts make it nearly impossible to resist salty, sugary and fatty food that is in our field of vision and free for the taking.
3. Encourage stretch breaks. If you and your fellow workers sit a lot, take turns going for brief walks. As they say, sitting is the new smoking. Too much of it is deadly.
4. Accommodate healthcare appointments. Workers may occasionally need to see healthcare providers during work hours. Try to make reasonable accommodations so that problems are treated early, before they become more serious and costly.
5. Praise healthy habits. Research shows that we are highly influenced by the people we are around every day. If coworkers watch what they eat, you are more likely to do so too. Praise each other for little successes like drinking less pop or going for a walk over the lunch hour.
To learn more about creating a culture of health at work, attend the WorkWell Lawrence Symposium on September 10.