We spend a significant amount of time in the workplace, and while long hours are spent earning money for the future, many of us also earn a few pounds due to a sedentary lifestyle in front of desks. If your office is filled with computers and employees sitting in front of these machines for eight hours or more every day, then it’s time for you to create an environment that promotes better health.
Creating a health-conscious workplace can do wonders for cutting the costs of health care, including worker’s compensation claims and insurance premiums. A healthy workforce also leads to fostering productivity, boosting morale, and reducing absenteeism due to sickness. More and more companies are taking preventive measures such as physical activities for employees, smoking cessation programs, and promoting weight control, and you should start doing the same in your workplace too. As an employer, you have the opportunity to create a healthier workforce.
Here are some great ideas to get you started on creating a health-conscious environment for your employees.
The National Healthy Worksite Program
The Centers for Disease Control or CDC has come up with an initiative called the National Healthy Worksite Program (NHWP), which assists employers to adopt health improvement programs in the workplace. These programs address obesity and excess weight, among other related chronic conditions. Under the NHWP, employers can do the following:
- Provide free or subsidized body composition measurements, including Body Mass Index scores and body fat assessments, along with direct feedback as well as clinical referral when appropriate
- Provide a series of educational health seminars, classes, and workshops
- Provide free or subsidized group or one-on-one lifestyle counseling for obese or overweight employees
- Provide free or subsidized weight management programs
- Provide cafeterias and vending machines with healthy food and beverage options
What you can do
Based on the NHCP, there are plenty of things you can do in your workplace to promote better health for your employees. You can start with the following:
- Establish a smoke-free environment. Not only will this discourage smoking, but also keep employees from being exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Promote physical activity throughout the workday. If it’s possible for you to build an on-site fitness facility such as a dance studio or a gym, then do so. The on-site fitness facility will make it easier for those who already exercise to keep up their routine, and also encourage others to work out after office hours.
- Talk to local health clubs about discounted memberships for your employees. If equipping your workplace with a gym isn’t feasible, then this is the next best thing to do.
- Promote walking or biking to work. Consider setting up a bike-sharing program for employees.
- Offer healthy food in your cafeteria and vending machines.
- Provide plenty of water in dispensers and give employees reusable water bottles to encourage them to drink water throughout the workday.
- Consider going for industrial dehumidifier rental services to improve indoor air quality. Dehumidifiers help prevent musty odors, reduce stuffiness throughout the office, and discourage the development of indoor air pollutants, making breathing easier and reduce the risk of allergies and respiratory ailments.
These are just some of the first steps you can take to create a health-conscious environment for your employees. Soon you may be able to develop a solid plan to address the specific areas of need when it comes to your employees’ health.