10 Ways To Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Practices In Office

By Leaderonomics|15-11-2021 | 10 Min Read
Source: Photo by Anupam Mahapatra https://unsplash.com/photos/Vz0RbclzG_w
It's your time to create an uplifting atmosphere at work!

Employees are the heart of the company. They exemplify dedication and hard work and serve as the heart that keeps the company beating. Being at the front line of the business, they interact with different clients and customers. They promote services and products the company has to offer and ensure that these are delivered in excellent quality.

As the employees keep the company in a smooth flow, it’s crucial for the company to take care of its employees’ health and lifestyle. Healthy practices increase productivity and employee satisfaction, foster teamwork, and reduce accidents in the workplace. Healthy employees mean happy employees.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle throughout the workplace will help you boost your employees’ motivation. A healthy diet, workshops, and team-building activities are just some of the few examples to promote healthy lifestyle practices in your employees.

Here are other 10 ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle in the workplace:

1. Implementing Preventive Care And Measures

As the old saying goes: Prevention is better than cure. It’s strongly preferable to avoid unhealthy habits and practices than to spend your time curing them. A good suggestion is by doing some counselling on what affects negatively to employees, discussing the common health issues, or having a doctor do frequent visits and provide check-ups in the workplace.

2. Encouraging Healthy Diet At The Workplace

Many employees lead unhealthy lifestyles as they usually tend to skip meals or lack time to have a complete meal, especially when faced with deadlines and work rush. Unhealthy foods are usually cheaper and easier to consume since employees tend to be busy most of the time. It’s time to change that.

This may interest you: 20 More Brain Foods

Provide employees with a healthier food option in the office canteen or invest in a healthy food vending machine that is both affordable and convenient during long work hours. You can also do a daily food distribution two to three times a day. Another great idea is to provide access to a healthy food truck or give them discount coupons at a healthy food joint.

Read more: The Colour Purple

A study from Harvard Business Review shows that eating healthy can increase productivity, fuel work performance, and enhance confidence. Make it a habit to eat a completely healthy meal at least every 3 to 5 hours. You can opt for alternative options like fast healthy food delivery in Toronto from Protein Chefs in case you don’t have time to prepare meals on your own.

3. Making Exercise A Daily Habit

Exercise gives substantial benefits to your physical state. It boosts your immune system, lowers your stress levels, and improves your concentration. Simple exercises like stretching, walking around the office, or taking the stairs instead of elevators are good ways to start. If you want to go the extra mile, consider the following activities:

  • Encourage your employees to do some after-work walks or run with their co-workers.
  • Try holding a marathon bi-weekly for the entire office, but also ensure that this is not mandatory but highly recommended for all staff.
  • A yoga session or sports tournament (friendly match) is also another option.
  • You can also invest in an office gym. This doesn’t have to be lavish, but it should be adequately equipped with treadmills and dumbbells for office use


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Supplementary reading: Mindfulness Exercises to Boost Your Mind’s Performance

4. Discussing The Importance Of Mental Health

Mental health is rarely talked about in the workplace because of the stigma that surrounds it. Most employees refuse to open up and share their state of mind because of discriminating and invalidating statements they might have experienced from their co-workers.
Being mentally unfit can have a huge impact on your work performance. According to a WebMD mental health article, poor mental health may cause chronic diseases, sleeping problems, and bad habits. To prevent these, here are ways to provide mental health support in the company:

  • Encourage employees to open up about their mental health and help them gain access to professional help.
  • Hire a psychologist that will give them advice, mental check-ups, and prescribe medications.
  • Look out for each other, but avoid unprofessional and toxic behaviours.
  • Promote and celebrate world mental health day, and other specific mental health days to ensure that everyone is cognisant about those important days and the meaning behind them.
  • Hold or host bi-weekly seminars that advocate mental health awareness. These seminars can serve as a refresher for employees. Employers and managers can spearhead this agenda. It takes courage to be able to vocalise one’s mental health condition, especially when they’re afraid of being judged or ridiculed. Offices are known to be one of the toxic places. So, knowing that their boss is actively seeking help and unabashedly vocalising their concerns encourages them to do the same—which also reduces the stigmatisation towards mental health in the office.


Read more: Recognising the Red Flags of Workplace Mental Health

5. Decreasing Chair Time

Think that sitting all day is healthy? Sorry to burst your bubble. Prolonged sitting increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, increases high blood pressure, and can even lead to an early death. Try doing the following simple activities:

  • Take breaks from sitting by doing small walks near the workstation or around the office.
  • Invest in a standing desk or provide a specific area where everyone can shift from their sitting job to working whilst standing. This will surely get the blood flowing. 
  • Prevent spending time eating near their computers. Having lunch out of the office gives your employees a chance to get a breather.


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Supplementary reading: The Importance of Doing Nothing

6. Talking About The Importance Of Sleep

Sleep is not for the weak. Getting enough hours of sleep is essential as it makes people work effectively. Sadly, most employees sacrifice their sleep for work which leads to poor physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts productivity and efficiency. Adults should sleep 7 to 9 hours per night to keep their physical and mental state in tip-top shape. A well-rested employee improves their decision-making skills and decreases burnout from exhaustion.

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Avoid stalling your employees after their work hours. Even better, let them leave a couple of minutes early once they’ve concluded the day’s tasks. This will help encourage them to have adequate downtime after being hard at work. Their body will surely reset and rest once they go home so they can energise for the next day.

Encourage employees to avoid staying up late, avoid going out late at night during working days, and limit their indulgence especially when they’re going to have a long day at work tomorrow.

7. Fostering Collaborative Strategies

Teamwork always makes the dream work. Having collaborative activities promotes a lively atmosphere at work and creates strong bonds among employees. Conduct team buildings and workshops every once in a while to reduce boredom at work.

This may interest you: The Key to Collaboration: Insights from the Malaysia Leadership Summit 2019

8. Establishing Non-Smoking Zone In The Workplace

Smoking is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Not only is it dangerous for the user, but the smoke emitted spreads out and affects other employees nearby. Second-hand smoke produces more risks than smoking itself. Placing smoking-free zones in the workplace enhances breathable air quality at work. This can be beneficial for smokers to help them cut their habits and make them quit for good.

9. Reducing Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol consumption may lead to significant health risks such as heart diseases, stroke, and liver disease. It also increases the number of work-related accidents and injuries. Furthermore, alcohol affects an employee’s concentration and coordination.

Do regular talks to your employees regarding alcohol consumption. When you’re celebrating company events, and alcohol is present, remind your employees to drink responsibly. As much as possible, endorse other non-alcoholic options.

10. De-Stressing The Atmosphere

Stress is every employee’s enemy at work. The pressure of deadlines, meetings and piled-up works/tasks often lead to too much stress that is detrimental to the well-being of employees. For managers, don’t overwhelm your employees with too much work to prevent them from experiencing frequent burnouts. Having a meditating zone in your office may also help bring back your employees’ motivation to perform better at work. Grounding helps them redirect their focus to work and removes mental distractions.

This may interest you: Inescapable, Insatiable, and International Busyness

Read more: Is Work-Related Stress Destroying Our Health?

Remind them to avoid multitasking as it creates confusion on other tasks that they need to do. Forming positive relationships with your employees also removes the stress of conflicts that can occur in your workplace.

Conclusion

Now that you’re familiar with the ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle at the workplace, as an employer, it’s time to do your part to implement them and create an uplifting atmosphere at work. Make sure to keep monitoring these policies to track their effectiveness. Hold meetings for general/open forums, create surveys, or speak to your employees one by one. Wellness programs should also be easily accessible. Be active in contributing to a healthy workplace for your employees, as this will have a huge impact on their performance and efficiency.

About Author: Scarlet Coppin is a health coach for the past 3 years. She develops and conducts seminars for clients and employees and provides guidelines and plans for unhealthy habits. Baking, surfing, and writing lifestyle articles are some of her favourite activities during her free time.

That was such a refreshing piece. As a leader, it is your job to maintain the well-being of your team, employees. Ensuring that they are espousing and employing healthy choices, healthy lifestyle. And one of them is making a habit of exercising daily. Which is a not-so-coincidental segue to our product, Happily. Happily offers many features and functions, yes even a fun marathon alongside colleagues that can score you a coin, making it like a fun game! Happily (or Budaya for those from Indonesia) is an amazing engagement app built for organisations to drive engagement amongst employees. It has amazing analytics and also provides activities for employees to be fully immersed in the organisation's culture and values. To find out more, click here or email info@leaderonomics.com
 
Be sure to check out the media below to unlock all the possibilities Happily can offer you and your organisation:

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