#HR Trends and Insights

5 ways to help employees live healthy lifestyles

August 10, 2022

Health is wealth and helping your employees live a healthy lifestyle both at home and in the office can increase their productivity and loyalty.

Research shows that employees in good health are more likely to perform well in the workplace. Healthy employees not only experience a better quality of life, they are also at a lower risk of disease, illness, and injury.

There are several ways you can support healthy lifestyles for employees to increase productivity at work and positively impact their home lives.

5 tips for promoting healthy lifestyles

  1. Encourage physical activity at work

There are plenty of ways to encourage physical activity at work. According to the American Council on Exercise, a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) boosts your cognitive abilities; and BDNF is triggered by exercise. So, keeping employees moving throughout the workday can enhance their work ethic, making them more productive and involved in the office.

Promoting activity will look different depending on your office space. To start, you may consider constructing an employer-led walking club or allowing employees to customize their schedule so that they can fit in physical activity. We encourage you to take these examples and see how they can help motivate your employees.

  1. Create an incentive/rewards program

Exercise is easy when your eye is on the prize!

Incentive or rewards programs are a great way to encourage healthy lifestyles both in the office and at home. The rewards don’t have to be extravagant, but they should be meaningful and be dependent upon meeting certain check points. For example, if your program’s goal is to encourage employees to get 400,000 steps in a year with 100,000 steps a quarter being a “checkpoint” offer an incentive or reward to those who meet the quarterly goal.

Once you decide on a fitness challenge to implement, build up excitement by explaining the incentives and rewards. To start, offer gift cards or extra vacation days and as you build your program out add more prize options. This is a sure way to keep employees motivated to go above and beyond.

  1. Offer healthy food options

We all know the saying “you are what you eat”, and that’s why it’s so important to offer nutrient packed food options in the office.

Food is brain fuel and the only proper way to get high-quality “fuel” to the brain is by eating healthy balanced meals. This includes foods with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to nourish your brain and protect it from the production of free radicals and antioxidants. Processed foods are low-quality “fuel” and can damage your brain and its functions.

Make it a point to provide healthy meal options in the lunchroom and healthy snack options like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and nuts in your office break room. Also encourage employees to bring in their favorite healthy foods from home to fuel their brain throughout the day.

  1. Provide mental health resources

A healthy mind really does make all the difference, especially when it relates to work.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, employees living with unresolved depression experience a 35% reduction in productivity in the workplace, contributing to a loss to the U.S. economy of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased medical costs. Supporting mental health is especially important today. In fact, the World Health Organization reported that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.

Providing employees with resources to put their mental health first will increase their productivity in the office and at home, allow them to be more present, and positively impact their future. This may look like providing sponsorships for virtual therapy platforms such as Better Help or Talkspace, improving health benefits, or allowing employees to see a company sourced counselor free of charge.

  1. Offer gym memberships

Gym memberships are a great way to encourage exercise both on and off the clock.

Carve out time for your employees in the morning or afternoon to hit the gym and provide membership as part of their benefits package if there isn’t a gym on site. Offering wellness activities in the office, like zumba or yoga, is another excellent option.

Providing your employees with opportunities to workout encourages them to make exercising a habit and keeps their bodies and minds in top shape.

How Edenred can support you

We would love to help you implement these tips and promote a healthy lifestyle for your employees in and out of the office. Schedule a meeting with us today to begin discussing options for your office space.

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