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Promoting health in the workplace

Posted by Akera on Jun 22, 2012 12:56:33 PM

It has been almost 2 weeks since I started a diet. This is an extremely challenging undertaking for me since I have never monitored what I ate and would usually stuff myself with as many bad and unhealthy foods as possible in one day.

As a result of this diet however, I am proud to say that I have already shed a few pounds. I think that is awesome seeing that I have never lost weight in my entire life.

This leads me to think of how organisation’s can promote health in the workplace, especially for office professionals and those with sedentary occupations. It is said that a healthy work place is a productive workplace and a positive reflection on the organisation’s culture.

Here are a few tips for encouraging wellness in your workplace which I found online at http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/toolkit/healthywork/index.html and http://www.inc.com/guides/2011/01/8-ways-to-promote-wellness-in-the-workplace.html

  1. Employees who work on a computer should give hands and wrists a quick break every 30 minutes.
  2. Ensure that healthy food and beverage choices are available for meetings and catered events.
  3. Encourage exercise through implementing and promoting a lunch hour walking club and offer incentives for employees who participate. And offer discounts or partially subsidize memberships to a local gym or exercise club.
  4. Have someone come in once a month to lead sessions on cooking healthy meals, staying healthy while on the go or travelling, or quick stress management skills. If you have the space, consider bringing in yoga or aerobics instructors for lunchtime classes. Keep sessions entertaining but informative, and you can offer incentives for employees who attend.
  5. Have a doctor visit the organisation 2 to 3 times a year giving employees the opportunity to have a routine check without taking time off from work.
  6. Implement employee incentive programs offer rewards, financial or otherwise, for employees who engage in healthy behavior. Employers can offer group insurance, covering a percentage of the cost of health insurance premiums for employees.
  7. An employee’s mental health is also very important and employers have a responsibility to support staff who maybe suffering from stress, either work-related, or otherwise. Unmanaged stress has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep trouble. This can affect the employee’s performance at work leading to inefficiency, job dissatisfaction, and absence from work for related health conditions. Consider offering an employee assistance program for employees who have financial troubles, excess stress, or depression symptoms. And encourage employees to take simple steps to reduce stress, like taking several breaks a day to go for a walk, chat with a co-worker, or just get outside for a breath of fresh air.

Of course all of the tips mentioned above do not have to be implemented. The key is to get started. Focus on one of the ideas above and then try another idea a few weeks later. Maybe a comprehensive wellness program can be implemented if it seems right and given the organisation’s available resources.

A step in the wellness direction will result in benefits to your organisation.

Topics: leadership, Health, work, Bridgetown, employers, employees, blog, barbados, Perspectives

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