Given that part of the job in human resources is to maximize the bottom line of the organization, many HR professionals tackle this objective by focusing primarily on corporate health and wellness. The thinking here is fairly simple – if you can build a staff that’s healthier, they’re likely to be more productive each day, which ultimately translates to a more profitable business.
“If you can build a staff that’s healthier, they’re likely to be more productive each day.”
For this reason, many employers channel their energy into instituting big programs that promote wellness on a macro level. For example, they take out large-scale health insurance policies and try to cover as many employees as possible, or they start new partnerships with gyms and healthy eateries to change the way people diet and exercise.
These ideas are all well and good, but there’s another relevant question to be asked here – what can be done on a more granular level? What are some ways that individual people can make themselves healthier?
According to Sue Blankenhagen, Wellness Program Specialist & Certified Wellness Coach with Ceridian LifeWorks, little things like being more active can make a big difference. Blankenhagen cited survey data from the American College of Sports Medicine showing that when people spend 30-60 minutes on their lunch breaks exercising, it boosts their productivity by 15 percent. Similarly, 60 percent of employers say they can better manage their time and meet deadlines on days when they exercise.
The way Blankenhagen sees it, everyone needs to do more to adopt healthier habits.
The following are four ideas for getting healthier just by making little changes around the office.
Stay moving throughout the day
The worst thing you can do is stay at a desk all day, sedentary from 9 to 5. Find some ways to keep moving! Instead of meeting with someone at their desk, “walk and talk.” Rather than take a break to check Facebook, use your break time to walk around the building. It’ll help.
Fit exercise into the schedule
Everyone’s schedule is busy, with a million projects and meetings and whatnot, but you should make some time for exercise too. Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of the day to hit the gym or go for a quick run. Fitness is important.
Make nutrition a priority
Pay attention to the food being passed around in break rooms and meetings. Are you serving greasy pizza and sugary soda, or is there some room for fresh fruits and vegetables too?
Decompress to relieve stress
Finally, mental health is equally important. If work is becoming stressful, take some time to meditate or listen to calming music. It will help you decompress and prepare yourself to return to work with renewed focus.