As the end of the year approaches, so does the annual task of choosing a New Year’s Resolution. This year why not make is easier – simply resolve to be well and stay well. And why not start in the workplace? After all, most people in full-time employment spend 7 or 8 hours there each and every day!A few simple changes at work can have a great impact on the health and well-being of employees as well as positively affecting the bottom line. In fact, it is reported that for every £1 invested in workplace wellness initiatives companies can make significant improvements to their bottom line in terms of reduced sick days and staff absenteeism.Read on for some simple, cost-effective tips to implement a wellness programme within your company.
Getting started with a ‘Wellness programme’
Starting a wellness programme need not cost a lot at all. There are many simple tips and strategies that can produce big results even on a small budget.
- Kill germs. Cut down on germs by sanitising frequently touched areas in the workplace. Designate this task to a different employee each day. Give out pocket-sized hand sanitisers to each employee and keep larger bottles in communal areas like reception, kitchen & break areas and conference rooms to keep the spread of germs to a minimum.
- Drink water. Drinking adequate amounts of water promotes weight loss, lowers the risk of a heart attack and certain kinds of cancers, and flushes toxins out of the body. Give out Sports Bottles to all employees and encourage them to (re)fill them throughout the day for optimal health.
- Offer healthy snack options. Consider eliminating (or at least reducing) high fat, high calorie snacks from office vending machines – contact the supplier and request healthier options are added. And if your company hold ‘breakfast-meetings’ or lay on a staff lunch make sure you offer low fat, low salt, as well as high protein and fibre options.
- Walk. Motivate your team to get moving. Walking has many health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, cutting cholesterol, burning calories, reducing stress and lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes and more! Encourage employees to walk 10,000 steps a day (which is the government’s recommendation.) Get them to download an app for their phone or distribute pedometers so they can track their progress. Organise a lunchtime walking group, you could even consider holding a competition to see who walks the most steps or who shows the greatest increase in their daily steps. If funds allow, it’d be a nice gesture to reward the winner with an iPod and perhaps give all other participants earphones.
Remember, starting small can yield big results!
With just a few easy steps you can see a happier, healthier workforce with more energy, less illness and increased productivity.
Here’s to a Healthy New Year!
For more tips & info about wellness at work programmes, check out our Blue Paper called Promoting Wellness at Work.