Prioritizing the health of employees is often overlooked in the workplace. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 28% of people do not meet the need of the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, which is likely due to time spent at jobs. The average office employee sits for 10 hours a day, which in turn can affect metabolism and overall health.
To combat the risk of poor mental and physical health in the workplace, companies have started wellness initiatives. In 2011, AT&T began the Your Health Matters program that challenges their staff to make healthier choices, whether it’s losing weight or quitting smoking. There are several ways businesses can take a part in the wellness of its employees, which in turn can help boost company morale.
Encouraging movement is the first step. Simple changes such as centralizing a trash can encourages periodic movement.
Hydration is often overlooked, but necessary to properly function every day. Providing water coolers will keep employees hydrated, while also increasing bathroom breaks, which once again, encourages regular movement.
Changing the dynamic of traditional conference room meetings is another small step to motivate employee wellness. Instead of sitting around a table, taking a walking meeting can boost energy and in turn, boost productivity.
More importantly, it’s vital for an employer to lead by example. That means inserting yourself into wellness initiatives and being a source of motivation for employees.