There are very beneficial reasons why companies should encourage healthy eating amongst their employees. Studies have shown that healthy eating promotes job performance and helps to reduce care costs. These and other benefits have served as strong incentives for business owners to provide healthy snacks for work or at least encourage healthy eating options and programs. Below are a few ways that companies can look to set the standard for a healthy workforce.
Though everyone knows that it is good to eat healthy, many people simply do not know how to make healthy choices. Therefore, providing education can prove to make a huge difference. Depending upon the size and outlook of your company you may choose between different options. You could have seminars and bring in health professionals to speak to your employees or simply provide health pamphlets in the break room. You may also choose a combination of the two or think of other innovative options. As long as the goal is to educate participants on the value of making healthy eating and life choices, it can have a positive impact on the staff.
Along with giving employees the knowledge, you should also endeavor to give them the tools to implement what they have learned. Some companies have incorporated exercise facilities within their facility. If you do not have such space or resources, you might consider partnering with a gym to provide discounted memberships to your employees. Another positive way to reinforce the healthy habits is having periodic company outings or functions with active elements, such as relay races, volley ball or basketball tournaments and more. Such activities can also help to strengthen morale amongst coworkers.
It is commonly said that people are products of their environment. Within the workplace, having environmental cues can speak to employees’ subconscious and cause them to choose healthier options. Some common healthy environmental cues include:
- Nutrition charts
- Healthy vending machines
- Positive slogans about health and exercise
There are other environmental cues that are subtle, yet helpful. For instance, avoid color schemes that evoke hunger, such as red and yellow, and stick with calming, natural tones, such as beige, sky blue and forest green. Take some time to find the combination of cues that works best in your endeavors.
Competition amongst colleagues has been an effective means of reaching different goals and promoting certain things over the years. The same concept can be utilized for encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Along with different competitive sports, you can also choose to do weight loss competitions where employees work as a team to lose the most weight and earn some sort of prize. This simultaneously creates a support group for individuals and provides a strong motivation in maintaining healthy actions.
There are strong company benefits to employees making healthy decisions, but the greatest benefit is the employees living longer, healthier lives. Being that employees commit a large amount of their time and efforts to the companies they work for, those same companies should be committed to the wellbeing of their employees. As such, it is important to implement healthy standards in the workplace.
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