As the majority of Americans spend a significant amount of their waking hours at work, employers have a unique opportunity to spread wellness messages to their employees and help them adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. With rising health care costs and health issues, helping employees stay healthy at work can be beneficial for workers as well as businesses.
Employers can encourage employees to adopt healthier habits in a variety of ways. Many initiatives can be implemented at low cost and be made available to all employees, including home office, telecommuting, and remote workers:
• Develop internal “healthy living” communications: Use emails or online posts to share nutritional information, exercise tips, or recipe ideas. Host webinars on how to read food labels or plan a weeklong menu of healthy, family-friendly meals.
• Offer healthy food options: Include healthy food and beverage options in the cafeteria and vending machines. Provide nutritional information for all food and beverage items to help employees make healthier choices.
• Sponsor team or individual competitions: Have a contest to see who can walk the farthest in one month, or hold a baking competition or a potluck featuring healthy dishes. The social component of these types of programs promotes employee engagement and encourages healthy habits.
• Provide incentives to promote healthier lifestyles: Offer incentives or rewards to employees who take part in exercise or weight loss programs. Incentives can also encourage employees to take part in wellness coaching or health assessments.
• Offer employer-subsidized weight loss programs: Programs can be offered on-site and/or online, making it convenient for employees to participate. In addition to promoting healthy eating habits and physical activity, these programs foster peer-to-peer accountability and support that can help employees stay on track.
For more information on the benefits of promoting employee wellness in the workplace, visit bit.ly/1pDPP0N.