If you work full-time, that’s where you spend the majority of your day. It is important to make sure that your work environment is as healthy as it can be, so that you can get in the habit of practicing healthy behaviors.
Creating a healthier environment in the office may seem like a big task, but as you get started you can simply focus on one or two policies or programs that make sense for your co-workers and work environment. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once!
Advocate for Healthy Options
If a meeting or event is long and food service is appropriate, advocate for healthier choices.
- Serve smaller portions. The average bagel has doubled in size and calories in the past 20 years, so cut them in half. Likewise, sandwiches, desserts, and other items can be halved, even if on a self-serve buffet.
- Offer at least 2 fruit and/or vegetable servings at meal times, 1 fruit or vegetable serving for snacks. Whole fresh fruit, mixed fruit cups, dried fruit, and steamed or roasted vegetables are all simple and affordable options.
- Serve dressings, sauces, and condiments on the side, so guests can control what—and how much—they consume.
Ask that water always be available.
Even a small drop in concentration affects our ability to concentrate. Sugary beverages like soda, sweetened tea, and lemonade actually deplete the body of water.
- Ask that only water, coffee, and unsweetened tea be served at meetings
- Ask for a water cooler, free bottled water, or filtered pitchers in break areas.
- Set up a do-it-yourself bar where employees can add fruit and herbs to their water. Post new recipes and rotate ingredients regularly.
Sit for 60, Move for 3
Short bursts of physical activity can make you feel rejuvenated, reduce stress levels, and improve your concentration. Make “Sit for 60, Move for 3” an office mantra, modeling and encouraging three minutes of physical activity for every hour of sitting.
- Encourage meeting planners to write movement breaks into agendas. Participants can stand walk, or stretch during this time.
- Learn a few brain boost activities and lead one at your next meeting. Encourage others to do the same. Make it fun!
- Lead by example. Periodically get up and walk to a colleague’s desk instead of sending an email.
Request Fitness Equipment
Simple fitness equipment can fit easily in a break area or seldom used conference room. Employees should also have opportunities to use some equipment at their desks.
What to ask for:
- Resistance bands
- Hand weights
- Standing desks
- Exercise balls
- Under desk pedal exercisers
- Stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill
These tips are just the beginning! To learn more about how to create a healthier workplace environment, download our guides with more information about Employee Wellness Programs.
Topics: Employer Wellness
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