7 Ways to Champion Health in the Workplace

The road to success is a collaborative journey, not a solo trek. You need your employees to work together if you’re going to reach your short- and long-term goals. Without their enthusiasm, and without your guidance, you’re moving in the wrong direction.

That’s why it’s so important to monitor the health and well-being of your workforce. Physically fit staff members are more productive and call out sick less often. They also demonstrate improved morale, and they’re more willing to put in their time and energy.

So how do you champion health in the workplace. Here are seven tips to get you started.

1. Offer Health Insurance Coverage

Yes, it’s expensive. But until the United States changes their policy on universal health care, your workers depend on you to offer health coverage.

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, staff can purchase coverage through the exchange — if they can realistically budget for it. However, nearly 10% of the population still lacks coverage, often because they can’t afford it, even with subsidies.

If you don’t offer coverage, your staff members skip preventive care like annual checkups and dental cleanings with the Dentist In Altamonte Springs. These omissions can result in problems like a minor heart defect ballooning into full-blown cardiovascular disease. Lack of oral health care allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream, increasing the risk of dementia.

2. Install a Workplace Gym

A gym in the workplace offers a host of benefits, the biggest of which is convenience. Workers can get to sweating either before or after their shift, and they can even perform reps on their breaks. If your budget permits, install a fitness facility on your campus.

If you don’t have the funds, or if your office rental lacks open space for a facility, partner with a local gym. This collaboration offers additional perks.

Many fitness facilities contain amenities like pools for aquatic exercise and far more equipment than you could fit in a repurposed supply closet. You may save a life, as you can prevent 80% of premature deaths by making behavioral changes like exercising regularly.

3. Encourage Small Physical Behaviors

Office workers run a higher risk of heart disease due to the sedentary nature of their work. Instead of micromanaging your team members to the point that they fear to leave their desk shackles, encourage small physical behaviors.

Post signs prompting staff members to take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk over to discuss a project with a colleague instead of sending an email.

4. Establish an Employee Assistance Team

The mental health of your staff impacts their work as much as their physical well-being. Even the most productive employees experience events such as divorce or substance abuse.

Establish an employee assistance team and let your team know that seeking help is confidential. Allow co-workers to submit anonymous reports if they fear a colleague needs help.

5. Provide Adequate Paid Leave

If you want to support diversity, you need to provide your staff members adequate paid leave. Why? Part of inclusion means hiring people with disabilities, including disorders you can’t see.

People with chronic diseases make up nearly 50% of the population — that’s almost half your staff. Many can lead healthy lives as long as they attend routine doctor appointments for the treatments they need.

However, if they receive hourly wages and struggle to make rent, they may skip maintenance treatments — which decreases both their productivity and overall quality of life. It costs little to say, “Take a day to care for you,” but it can make a huge difference.

6. Have Healthy Meals Catered, Hold Potluck Challenges or Both

You can’t go into your employees’ kitchens one by one and toss out their bags of salty crisps — but you can encourage healthy eating on the clock. When you have your monthly budget conference catered, opt to serve healthy meals rich in fruits and vegetables. Boost your staff members’ morale by initiating team-building activities like healthy potlucks. Host an in-office recipe contest to see who can create the tastiest dish with the least amount of calories and fat.

7. Create an Ergonomic Workspace

If your workers hunch over their desks, they’re prone to developing back pain. If their setup lacks proper ergonomics, carpal tunnel syndrome can make typing a misery. Plus, who doesn’t feel glum when they stare at an uninspiring cinderblock wall all day?

Design an ergonomic workplace by ensuring all chairs provide lumbar support and adequate padding. Invest in adjustable-height desks. When you seek new office space, look for buildings with ample windows or skylights.

It Pays to Invest in Employee Health

Healthy employees work harder and call out sick less often. Your staff members are the lifeblood of your organization. Keep your workflow uninterrupted by investing in the well-being of your workers.

Author Bio:

Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about a broad variety of topics on his blog. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates!

 

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