By Christina Dort
Communications Director, Leisure Sports Inc.
For many people the New Year brings out a renewed sense of commitment to health and fitness. Diets are started, fitness videos are downloaded, and gym memberships are activated. Then each year mainly around March, most people have fallen back into their old habits. The number one reason cited – work.
Long days at the office, lunches consumed at desks and long commutes are real contributors to employees becoming deconditioned. As business leaders we need to actively encourage employees to be healthier. Numerous reports tout the benefits of employee wellness, but creating a workplace wellness program can seem overwhelming. We are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be.
Here are simple things employers can do to start developing a healthier work culture.
1) If you provide snacks and food for your employees, go healthy! Offer fresh or dried fruit, yogurt, nuts, jerky and string cheese. Making healthy options available can help reset the bad habit of reaching for candy or caffeinated soda when energy levels start to wane in the afternoon. Healthy snacks with complex carbohydrates and protein keep energy levels up by stabilizing blood sugars.
2) Enlist the help of any fitness enthusiasts you work with to organize walks, runs, other activities during lunch time. Wellness programs work best when they are group activities with shared goals.
3) Create challenges for your employees to become more active and eat healthier. Include incentive prizes for those that complete the challenge. Smartphone apps are an excellent way to track and report challenge activity. A structured challenge which promotes friendly competition and employee participation will work best.
You can start creating a healthier work environment without investing in expensive, time-consuming programs. Check with your insurance provider or your local health club to get health assessments for your employees, they are often free or minimal cost. For many people learning their personal fitness stats is enough of a motivator to get moving again!
Lead by example – show your staff that it’s OK to step away from the computer. You will all be much happier for it.
Join the Renaissance Club Sport on Thursday, January 28 from 11am-1pm at TechSpace Aliso Viejo, 65 Enterprise on the 4th Floor chat room for a free InBody Screening to kick off your health and fitness!