Easy Wellness Strategies to Incorporate in the Workplace.
When considering employee productivity, it has become evident that their overall well-being plays an important role, as exemplified during the pandemic. This global shift has spurred numerous enhancements in business wellness strategies including flexible working hours, remote work options, and an expansion of health benefits. Although there have been many improvements during this time, other generational work standards are coming under scrutiny. An increasing number of people are questioning whether work-life balance is genuinely being met in the workplace. Today, more than ever, people are experiencing a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain or weight loss, anxiety, depression, and burn out. Therefore, embracing small, healthy habits during the work day could make a substantial difference in one's overall well-being.
In this article, we will explore how employees in any workplace can contribute to promoting better workplace wellness and make a significant impact on their own lives as well as the lives of their colleagues.
1. Encouraging Movement at Work
Movement is a powerful tool for stress and frustration relief, making it essential to foster accessibility and encouragement in the workplace. Exercise is also known to improve productivity and time management. So how can we make it more accessible in work setting? Here are some easy initiatives to kickstart a movement-friendly environment:
Host Fitness Challenges: Consider organizing team challenges such as step competitions to motivate employees.
Provide Health Incentives and Prizes: Reward healthy behaviors with incentives like gift certificates for yoga or boxing studios.
Start a Walking Group: Encourage coworkers to take a break from their desks by organizing lunchtime walks.
Combine Meetings with Movement: Turn meetings into walking meetings, or opt for a joint coffee break stroll.
Invite Fitness Instructors: Arrange for virtual or in-person fitness instructors to lead sessions at team events or meetings, including yoga, Pilates, or boot camp workouts.
Offer Health and Wellness Resources: Make health and wellness magazines and pamphlets available in common areas like the lunchroom, meeting rooms, or office entrances.
Engage Health Professionals: Bring in health professionals to provide knowledge-sharing opportunities, such as workplace wellness e-learning courses and movement workshops, or establish wellness committees.
Create a Movement Space: If an in-office gym is not available, designate a room equipped with mats, yoga blocks, resistance bands, and other resources for stretching and exercise.
Support Employee Fitness: Sponsor employees involved in sports or training events for charitable causes. This demonstrates your commitment to their well-being beyond the workplace and fosters a healthier work environment for all.
By implementing these initiatives, you can help transform your workplace into a hub for wellness and physical activity, positively impacting the lives of your team members and contributing to their overall health and well-being.
2. Fostering Healthy Food Relationships
The persuasive influence of diet culture has impacted all of us, whether we are subconsciously aware of it or not. For many, food is a delicate topic, and it's crucial to approach the promotion of healthy eating in the workplace with mindfulness. Here are some tips to encourage healthier relationships with food:
Limit "Diet Talk": Promote a culture that minimizes discussions related to diets, calories, weight, nutrition trends, numbers on the scale, and portion sizes.
Embrace Positive Food Conversations: Encourage discussions that highlight the positivity of food, such as expressing how tasty and satisfying a meal is, emphasizing the nourishing qualities of certain foods, sharing how food brings happiness, and expressing love for food.
Transform Mealtime into Bonding Time: Use mealtime as an opportunity to connect with peers and colleagues. Step away from your workspace and engage with others during meals.
Create a Recipe Sharing Corner: Set up a designated space in the lunchroom where employees can share their favorite recipes, fostering a sense of community and inspiring healthy eating choices.
Invite Nutrition Experts: Arrange for nutritionists or dietitians to host workshops or lunch and learn sessions, providing valuable insights into making nutritious food choices.
Suggestion Box for Healthy Options: If applicable, establish a suggestion box for employees to recommend and request healthier meal and snack options in your workplace cafeteria. Consider items like yogurt, fruit bowls, sandwiches, granola bars, and veggies with dip.
By implementing these practices, you can create a workplace environment that respects individuals' sensitivities surrounding food and promotes a healthier, more balanced approach to eating. This not only contributes to overall well-being but also fosters a positive, inclusive atmosphere for all employees.
3. Enhancing Mental Health Initiatives
Corporate settings traditionally prioritize results and productivity, which can place a heavy burden on employees. Incorporating mental health awareness into the workplace is now a critical need for companies to ensure the engagement and productivity of their staff. While progress has been made in many businesses, there's always room for improvement. Here are some strategies to implement small but impactful changes in the workplace:
Offer Development Opportunities in Health and Wellness: Encourage employees to engage in professional development related to health and wellness, empowering them to take charge of their well-being.
Designate a "Quiet Room" for Breaks: Create a dedicated space where employees can retreat during break times to decompress and alleviate stress associated with their workload.
Regular Wellness Assessments: Conduct routine wellness assessments in the workplace to monitor and address employees' physical and mental well-being.
Consult a Health Professional for a Wellness Plan: Consider enlisting the expertise of a health professional to craft a tailored wellness plan for your business, ensuring that your employees have the support they need to thrive.
Promote Talking Circles and Open Discussions: Foster a culture of open dialogue by encouraging talking circles and group discussions, allowing employees to share their thoughts and experiences in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
Host Workshops and Lunch & Learns Led by Mental Health Professionals: Arrange for mental health professionals to conduct workshops or lunchtime sessions, equipping employees with the knowledge and coping strategies they need to maintain good mental health.
Establish a Support Line for Employees: Create a dedicated support line that employees can call when they require assistance or guidance in dealing with work-related stress and mental health concerns.
By implementing these measures, you can create a workplace that not only acknowledges the importance of mental health but actively supports it. These small changes can have a significant and positive impact on your employees' well-being and overall job satisfaction, contributing to a more engaged and productive workforce.
B.Sc Nutrition, Personal Training Specialist, Certified Life & Wellness Coach