Wellness is a full-time job, but most of us all but forget about it entirely during the work week. We put unnecessary amounts of stress on our bodies while we fret about deadlines. Desk jobs leave us sedentary for long stretches of the day, depriving our bodies of the activity we need to stay fit. Lunch hours are short, and so tempt us to make poor choices like opting for fast food or mindlessly snacking throughout the day. The combination of a lack of activity and too much caffeine (free coffee, anyone?) disrupts our sleep patterns, further weakening our bodies and our minds.
This gross negligence of wellness has real consequences: The American Heart Association reported last year that poor diet and lack of exercise are the two major risk factors for heart disease and stroke, which account for 25 percent of companies’ healthcare costs.
The takeaway? Fostering a wellness environment in the workplace has a financial upside! Not to mention the obvious: we are all more productive when we are in good health.
The traditional workplace is in need of a serious wellness shot. Now, I’m well aware that many wellness upgrades come with a high price tag, and while it might not be economically feasible for you to build a gym in the office or replace all the desks with standing desks, there are other, smaller adjustments you can make that will have a meaningful impact on your employees’ health. Here are a few tips:
1. Try a walking meeting: ditch the conference table and hit the pavement next time you have a meeting. The physical activity will energize your team and might even inspire some new ideas. Getting outside also means Vitamin D. I’m looking at you, Angelenos!
2. Encourage wellness as a collective activity: make wellness a team-building exercise for your employees by encouraging them to form groups around shared interests, like jogging, hiking, or yoga. Sponsor group activities and ask your employees to snap some photos in return, so you can share them on LinkedIn and social media to boost engagement.
3. Ditch the vending machine fare: offer your employees healthier snack options than the chips, candy, or, shudder, soda. Swap coconut water out for soda and reduce your carbon footprint while you’re at it with the Corporate CocoTaps Tool Kit and take a vacation at your desk with Healthy Fresh Tapped Coconuts!