Research shows that employees who eat healthy are 25% more likely to have higher job performance. Also, employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, are 15% more likely to have higher job performance.
What happens when combined? Research shows that employees who eat healthy and regularly exercise, are more productive and take fewer sick days. This results in an absenteeism rate 27% lower than their peers. In summary, you want your employees to adopt healthy lifestyles for their own benefit, and for the overall company’s productivity.
Having said this, you might be surprised the small workplace changes that can make a big difference in your employees’ health. Consider sharing these 5 workplace health tips with your employees to boost their wellbeing (and performance):
1. Take a Break from the Desk
One of the most important things you can do during the day to stay healthy and in shape is to exercise. But going to the gym can be a hurdle. However, it’s important to remember that exercise doesn’t have to wait until the end of the day.
Scheduling walking meetings or walking to get lunch is a great idea – not only are you burning calories, but you’re de-stressing and refreshing.
One study found that people who were immersed in nature for four days boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50 percent. There were a few factors that played a role in this increased creativity and productivity, including a decreased exposure to technology.
If you can’t get out during working hours, park farther away than you normally do so you have a brisk walk to work in the morning and evening. You can also make it a habit to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
2. Pack a Lunch
The second important part of the formula is nutrition. Taking control of how much food you have and the kind of food you eat is a vital source to a healthy lifestyle.
The easiest way to control your portion sizes and food selection is to pack your own lunch. Just as we are taught as kids to eat everything on our plate, the portion size provided is often what dictates how much you eat. If you pack the right amount of food and proper serving sizes, you take control.
If you have to go out to get food, a great tip is to get half of your order boxed before it gets to the table. Often, restaurants’ serving sizes are much larger than our own, so to prevent overeating, it might be helpful to save the second serving and take it home for another meal.
As an employer you can help support this wellness initiative by providing your employees with healthy options during breakfast and lunch meetings. Instead of the traditional bagels or donuts, opt for fruit and protein options.
3. Pay Attention to Posture
Tension neck syndrome (TNS) can occur when the neck and upper shoulders are held in a fixed, awkward position for long periods of time, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. This is common in the workplace, especially for people who routinely talk on the phone for a large part of the day or type extensively.
TNS can cause neck and shoulder pain, muscle tightness, and muscle tenderness and can lead to more complications and pain down the road if the posture isn’t corrected.
You should correct your posture and make sure your neck isn’t bent to the side for long periods of time. By using a speakerphone, a shoulder cradle, or a headset at work when you’re on the phone, you can greatly reduce your posture discomfort.
4. Prevent Eyestrain
Eyestrain is another problem that can be encountered in the office, or more specifically, in front of a computer. It can cause headaches, difficulty focusing, and increased sensitivity to light, according to the University of California at Davis.
Your posture can prevent eyestrain, as well, with some precautions. Ensure that your eyes are about an arm’s length away from the computer screen. At this distance, you should be able to comfortably read what’s on your screen without having to squint.
5. Be Aware of Stress/Mental Health
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it is important to pay attention to mental health. This has become a prominent topic over the last decade as employers have taken more initiatives to understand and support mental health in the workplace.
Signs of a stressed employee include: tiredness and irritability, reduced work quality, indecisiveness and poor judgment, and physical illness such as headaches, nausea, aches and pains.
Employers have a responsibility to foster an environment that allows those who need help to get it. Ensure employees are aware of how to manage and prevent stress by adapting workloads accordingly. They should also be provided the resources needed for mental health concerns.
We hope you enjoyed this piece and be sure to share it with your employees when you get a chance. For more great tips about wellness in the workplace, be sure to subscribe to our blog!