4 Ways to Build a Healthy Workplace

4 Ways to Build a Healthy Workplace

We spend a lot of our waking hours at work, and being at work can either support or undermine our ability to adopt healthy behaviors.

For example, someone wants to reduce the amount of added sugar they eat, but every morning a team member or the boss brings in donuts or pastries for the staff. Or at another workplace, someone brings in a fresh bowl of fruit.Or maybe you work in a place where your supervisor encourages you to take frequent physical activity breaks or stand up and stretch during meetings. Or maybe your job offers employees workshops on healthy living during lunch or a brief health reminder at the beginning of each meeting.

Healthy employees and healthy companies and organizations go hand-in-hand.

Good health increases vitality and energy both at work and at home. When employees are well, they’re happier, more productive, more engaged, and have fewer health and safety expenses.

A good workplace wellness strategy integrates wellness activities into its everyday culture and makes it easier for employees to improve their health while they’re at work.

Here are a few ideas and strategies to make it happen:

  1. Lead from the top. Senior leaders should model healthy behaviors, visibly participating and sharing their personal journeys to well-being.
  2. Create a culture of health and safety. Frontline managers can create a culture of wellness by actively promoting activity breaks, involving everyone in generating ideas to improve health and safety, and recognizing individuals and teams who are good examples.
  3. Create an environment that supports healthy choices. Healthy food options, encouragement of using the stairs, a tobacco-free campus, bike racks, showers, walking paths, and healthy meeting guidelines all create a health-focused culture.
  4. Provide well-being programs that are engaging and inclusive by involving individuals and groups in developing and promoting activities.

We at Intermountain LiVe Well have challenged participants from Utah not-profit organizations who are competing in the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute’s 2017 My Heart Challenge to take the things they’re learning from our experts into the workplace to influence their leaders and peers and make their workplaces healthier.

I would also challenge you to look for opportunities at your workplace to make healthier choices. Some simple things you can do:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park farther away in the parking lot and get in your steps
  • Get a tracking device and increase your steps by walking on your breaks and lunch hour