Published On: Wed, Jan 4th, 2017

Workplace Wellness Starts with Healthy Choices

Employers may provide an excellent benefit through workplace wellness, but the small business with 15 to 25 employees, for example, may be at a disadvantage when it comes to footing the bill for an effective program. Effective, by the way, includes boosting employee morale and loyalty as well as bringing a great return on your investment.

“Workplace wellness programs can be extensive and sometimes expensive,” Brown & Brown Benefits Advisors, who work with businesses throughout New Jersey and metropolitan New York. “However, there are ways for small employers to make positive changes at little or no cost.”

Improving the health of employees means fewer sick days and fewer hits on the company health insurance package. Yet you don’t have to invest in an in-house gym or even memberships to the local health club to enjoy the benefits of a healthier and happier management and staff. Gyms require an investment in a variety of equipment, as well as some supervision, to meet various fitness preferences and needs. And not everyone, especially neophyte exercisers, feels comfortable among serious exercisers in a health club.

Good nutrition and exercise are the hallmarks of achieving optimal health, and the former may be the easiest way to get a workplace wellness program off the ground, positively influencing the health of employees as a group.

Here’s a starter kit of tips:

—Educate employees about the importance of nutrition in their lifestyle by exposing them to reminders like posters, group emails to employees on a regular basis, and even with nutritional tips in their paycheck envelopes.

—Tired of sugary and fattening snacks in those vending machines? Try bringing in fruits and veggies that are comparable in price to other snacks.

—Instead of bringing doughnuts and pastries to your conferences and meeting, how about a fruit plate or other healthy alternatives?

—Allow time away from desks and cubicles to a break room or other segregated area where there may be a refrigerator and stove-microwave, encouraging employees to bring healthy dishes to share. Dish-to-pass lunches are a great way for workers to bond and experiment with healthy recipes.

—Encourage employees with knowledge in nutrition or expertise in cooking healthy meals to give demonstrations and programs.

—Taste testing, with an accent of minimizing calories and maximizing nutrition, is an effective way to keep the focus on eating right. It may even results in contests with employees voting for the nutritional treat of the week.

—Make sure there is plenty of water accessible and available to all workers. The water cooler still has its place.

—And, finally, you can encourage people to make decisions while at work that will carry over to the choices they make at home. Point-of-decision prompts get people to choose between the apple or the cupcakes in the vending machine instead of making an unconscious decision.

Author: Anwar Hossain

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