Employers can have a big impact on their workers’ health and wellbeing, often with some simple activities.
Everyone needs a little help with their health and wellbeing at times. With the amount of time spent at work, running wellbeing activities can have a huge difference to the physical and mental health of employees. A good workplace culture, means better productivity and motivation. Try implementing some of these activities in your office to boost the wellbeing of your staff.
10 Health and Wellbeing Activities at Work
Everyone is different; some health-related activities appeal and staff can’t wait to take part while others fall flat and no few workers seem interested. Try a few different initiatives to see which ones work for your staff.
#1 Green the Office
Something simple yet effective is to bring in plenty of indoor plants. Decorating with plants can reduce toxins commonly found in indoor air. A study found that indoor plants can reduce psychological and physiological stress in young adults. Plants may also improve your outlook on work including job satisfaction and productivity.
Choose hardy, low light plants like the fiddle leaf, spider, Mother-in-law tongue, bamboo palm and Ficus tree.
#2 Lunchtime Activities
Keeping staff physically active at work reduces the health risks related to a sedentary lifestyle. Offer Pilates, a yoga class or a walking group to encourage workers to leave their office. It helps to get their blood circulating, reduce stress levels and engage with colleagues on a personal level.
#3 Remind Workers to Leave Their Workstation Regularly
When you’re busy with work, the hours can easily slip by without an office worker getting up from their workstation. It’s not enough to eat your lunch and continue working. It’s important to take shorter breaks away from the chair at least hourly and move around the office.
#4 Replace Vending Machines & Encourage Healthy Eating
If your workplace still has vending machines filled with unhealthy foods, it’s time to replace them with healthier offerings. Provide staff with a fruit bowl and have only healthy snacks and drinks in the vending machines instead of potato chips and soft drinks.
Nutrition can be the focus of a social event. There are companies with large kitchens that run corporate cooking classes which are fun and educational. Giving workers the confidence to prepare more home-cooked meals can reduce weight, blood pressure and diabetes risk.
#5 Volunteer Days
Allow staff to take a day or two off each year to volunteer for a charity of their choice. Volunteering helps us feel involved and provides a sense of accomplishment that some employees don’t experience at work. When you’re helping others in the community, you’re more likely to have a positive view of your life and goals. Becoming a volunteer gives people another group to feel connected with.
#6 Fitness Challenge
Employers can encourage workers to be fitter and healthier in a fun and positive way with some friendly competition. Hold a stair competition to find the person or team that walks the most stairs during the month or track the kilometres walked.
You can also do a healthy habit challenge which involves adopting a healthy action, such as trying a new sport, or daily meditation, for 21 days straight to build a new habit. Make it a competition and see who in the team manages to stick to their new healthy habit!
#7 Walk to Work Day
Most people don’t come close to the recommended 10,000 steps a day. Walking to and from work (or part of the way) can make a significant difference.
Australia’s Walk to Work Day is on Friday 3 September, 2021 but you can start now with training days. Diabetes Australia promotes the event because people who walk before or during work are generally healthier, more productive and less likely to be sick or absent from work.
The organisation can reward walkers with a healthy breakfast on arrival or a morning tea. Getting the walkers together to share their experience and walking routes can encourage them to stay with their new commuting regime.
#8 In-chair Massage
Most people love a good neck, shoulder and upper back massage. One of the biggest health complaints of office workers is a sore neck and shoulders. An in-chair massage can reduce workplace stress, reduce blood pressure, increase productivity and improve quality of sleep. A masseuse can also alert staff to muscle tightness and encourage workers to adopt a better posture while working.
#9 Mental Health Support
People are more aware of mental health concerns today than they were years ago. Many are keen to help a colleague or friend but feel they don’t know how. Resources on the RU Ok? website are released in July ahead of the September 10, 2021 day. Distribute the resources and hold information sessions so workers are confident to ask the question and help others in the community who may struggle with mental health issues.
#10 Ergonomic Assessments
The word ‘ergonomics’ is bandied around a lot, but not every office worker knows what it all means. Offer staff an ergonomic assessment of their workstation to check that it’s set up for their requirements. You could also hold a training session on what to look out for at your workstation and how to adjust your chair so it suits your body shape. Also provide some tips on how to avoid eye strain from staring at the computer screen for too long.
If you would like to know more about health and wellness strategies, call Altius Group on 1300 307 912 or contact us online.