Losing weight doesn’t necessarily equate health, and companies participating in weight loss challenges in the new year could actually worsen the wellness of workers.
Although good-natured, businesses that encourage their employees to participate in weight loss challenges in return for rewards neglect numerous other health issues that permeate society: eating disorders, those with health-related obstacles that cause weight gain and more.
Historically, the concept of what “health” looks like has been skewed, but leaders have a chance to change this viewpoint.
So what can companies do to encourage wellness in the new year, without triggering poor dietary habits?
For starters, instead of insisting that employees cut out certain foods in their diet, encourage them to incorporate nutritious foods instead. Eliminating sugar from a diet can, of course, be beneficial in weight loss, but it’s more effective to motivate workers to include at least one vegetable in each of their meals.
Another easy way to boost the health and wellness of employees is reminding them to stay hydrated. Leaders can help workers adopt this habit by buying staff reusable water bottles, making it easier for them to remember to drink water throughout the workday.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that health goes beyond the physical — mental health is critical to a well-rounded wellness challenge. Some ways to address this is to encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day, whether that’s simply to take a break from work devices or spend time with loved ones.