We have all heard of workplace wellness. There’s also a good chance your employer has a wellness program. We hear a lot of talk about wellness, but let’s be honest—do any of us know what it means to have a great wellness program? It’s easy to set up biometric screenings for employees or hand out pamphlets on healthy eating habits and check that “wellness program” box, but are those things truly helping employees be healthy, productive and—most of all—happy?
I’d like to challenge workplaces and my fellow Physiotherapy wellness experts to move away from the traditional “one-size-fits-all” wellness offerings and shift to an all-encompassing focus on personalised wellbeing.
Recently, in a Forbes article titled “8 Trends That Will Impact Worksite Wellness in 2018,” corporate wellness and employee wellbeing expert Alan Kohll identifies this growing trend in personalized offerings. According to Kohll, “Wellness isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee might not be as important to another.”
Wellness is no longer a “nice to have” job perk—it’s an essential tool for attracting and retaining top talent. We’re seeing more employees, especially younger generations, expecting wellness to be a standard part of an employer’s benefit offerings. One survey of 2,000 U.S. workers featured recently in the Harvard Business Review showed that respondents would choose a lower paying job if it offers better benefits—health, dental and vision insurance, plus other benefits like flexibility and work-life balance.
Many of today’s wellness programs that only focus on weight loss or quit smoking programs miss the mark when it comes to making employees truly happier at work and in life. For this reason, wellbeing is a better approach to maintaining and improving the overall health of employees and our communities.
Wellbeing goes far beyond physical fitness to include areas like mental health, financial health, and even environmental and social health. It focuses on the whole person and impacts every area of life. After all, overall health and happiness is about so much more than just numbers on a scale. Employee assistance programs aim to cover these vital areas.
It’s important to me that The Office Athlete’s wellbeing philosophy applies to more than just our wonderful clients we work with every year.
If we want to succeed in encouraging our employees to be healthy, more productive and, most importantly, happy at work—we have to embrace the wellbeing model of workplace programming. So let’s move beyond the traditional methods to ensure our employees and communities have not just their physical health taken care of, but their overall wellbeing, too.
Bear in mind that your employees reflect you and your company. Thus, it is ever so wise to pay attention to their health and make sure that they are active, refreshed and energized.
This way, you will have an inspired team of employees who will enjoy coming to work, love and care about your company as well as do their job more thoroughly and efficiently.
Here are some very useful yet simple acts that will make a tremendous difference in your employee’s health and wellbeing.
#1 Encourage Use of Stairs Rather Than an Elevator
Everyone uses elevators, as they are quick and convenient, but they don’t do much good to your heart. By using stairs instead of an elevator you burn up to 500kJ in ten minutes. Pretty great, wouldn’t you agree?
Ask your colleagues to join in on the walk, you’ll have more fun and motivation and ideally have a productive conversation
#2 Do that little extra Work to get to Work
Alongside being eco-friendly, walking that little longer and even cycling to work is a great way to add to your daily physical activities. Getting off a station early, parking that extra bit further away to ensure you have that time to relax into the work day is a lot more effective that you think.
You could also offer incentives for those who choose the cycling option. For example, offering trade-ins and purchase offers for those that choose to get new bikes.
#3 Sleep is Important
Not getting enough sleep affects your appetite, your physical activities, you performance throughout the day and reflects badly on your immunity. So, it is important that your employees get around 8-9 hours of sleep. It is astonishing how little sleep people get. Flexible start times is a great incentive for employees to catch up on sleep and their morning routine, ensuring a productive work day
#4 Boost-Your-Energy Food
While working, we tend to eat poorly. This reflects through dehydration and slow performance. Improve this by thinking ahead, planning your meals and snacks carefully and preparing your meals at home. Ensuring water and fresh fruit is available for your employees, a simple yet lovely morale boosting initiative
You can never go wrong by choosing basic and simple meals.
#5 Clean And Shiny Washrooms, Lockers, Bike Racks and Showers
Everybody is in the need of a shower after a good workout. And since you want your employees to be healthy and workout regularly, make sure to provide showers and lockers to help them refresh. Alongside this, keep those office washrooms spotless!
#6 Organize a Family Day For Everybody!
Work can take up a lot of person’s free time, including the time he wanted to spend with his family. What a better way to develop a better work-life balance and to have fun, than to organize a family day for your employees and their families! They can bring whomever they like, whether loved ones, spouses, parents or children.
#7 Set Up a Health Fair
Invite nutritionists, Physiotherapists, health and fitness experts and organize a health fair for those who lead and who would like to start leading a more healthier lifestyle.
These are just some of the fields this fair could cover: managing work-life balance, healthy eating on a budget, and better posture and movement among others.
#8 Face to Face Meetings Rather Than The Online Ones
Occasionally, prioritise face-to-face meetings instead of online ones. This will make your employees walk away from their computers, engage in some physical activity and exercise at least a little bit.
These can be walking meetings, outdoors or in a different setting to the standard boardroom lay-out.
#9 Spa And Massage Coupons
While some get paid days off, reward others with a free spa or massage coupon. You can do this on a monthly basis. Not only will your employees feel gratitude and respect, but they will also come back to work stress-free and refreshed!
Don’t wait another minute; put these easy steps into action right now! Also, get hold of such exclusive detailed resource with even more practical ideas. We assure you that these piece of cake steps will make your employees feel happier and lead to much more productivity.
Considering we spend most of our day attached to a device such as a tablet, smart phone or laptop/computer. How often do we consider how they affect our health?
If you fit in the group of people who use computers on a daily basis, you may feel some inconvenience after sitting for long periods of time. Nauseousness can occur too, if you focus on the computer screen for too long.
These risks can be prevented by simply improving on how you work. Use these suggestions to learn how to take care of your health during the time you work on a computer.
Introduce this into your daily routine, and make yourself a healthier workplace.
Adjust Lighting To An Appropriate Level
If you haven’t heard, there is a technical condition for a temporary illness caused by long exposure to the computer screen called Computer Vision Syndrome(CVS). If you adjust light in your working area, you reduce the risk of CVS. Close the blinds to dim the light, but do leave enough light needed to work with any papers or documents without a hitch.
Keep your computer screen dust and dirt free all the time. To control the screen’s flare, use anti-glare filter.
Figuring out how to use the lighting settings can be a simple, yet highly effective way
Keep Your Eyes Safe
As mentioned before, CVS is a very real and not so pleasant temporary ailment caused by long exposure to the computer screen. Some of its symptoms are:
- Neck pain
- Blurred vision
- Difficulties in re-focusing the eyes and double vision
- Eye redness and irritation
If dizziness occurs while working on your computer, make sure to do the following:
- Take a break. Do some stretching and walk away from the computer screen. If unable to walk away, just cover your eyes occasionally.
- Roll your eyes clockwise and counterclockwise three times.
- Optometrists give useful advice to look at a distant object preferably about 6 meters away. Stare at this object for 10 seconds and repeat this process three times. Execute this drill every hour of your work.
Make sure you visit your doctor or your optometrist regularly in order to have your eyes checked.
Bolster Your Feet and Wrists
When working on a computer, you are constantly in one position and there is minimal bodily movement. This can make your feet go numb.
On the other hand, you use your hands for work, so wrist strains are unavoidable. Use foam support for your wrists in order to reduce the soreness and discomfort. Some mouse pads have built in wrist support, so you should consider using those. They should be placed at the same level as the keyboard.
Also, don’t forget your feet! Use a foot stool to keep a good sitting posture and do some ankle exercises for a couple seconds every now and then.
Pay Attention To Your Sitting Position
How often do we actually do this when using our computer? Back pain and discomfort can be easily prevented if you know how to properly sit at a computer desk. Just by having a good posture, you can lengthen the time of your work on the computer.
Pay attention to the following:
- Shift your position from time to time.
- Keep your head, shoulders and spine supported.
- Adjust your chair respectively to this position.
- Buy a chair with five casters to maintain adequate support.
- Try using a rolled up towel or lumbar support to enhance your chair and decrease load in your spine
Have Some Time Out and Move Around
Despite your deadline, you need to take a break and move around in order to be able to finish your work properly. Have short breaks every two hours. Get off your chair, move around a bit, and even try to move your laptop to a high bench and type standing up. Then, perform these simple exercises:
- Hold the bottom of your chair with one hand and let your ear drop to your shoulder. Lean in the opposite direction of the hand holding the chair.
- Roll your shoulders, squeezing your shoulder blades with full movements. Repeat this exercise several times.
- Make a tight fist and spread it as wide as you can. This will help your wrists rest.
- Pull back your fingers so your hand bends at the wrist and repeat this a few times.
- Raise your hands and keep them at your shoulder level, this way you will stretch your back. Keep your elbows down and push back your shoulders. Repeat this exercise several times.
These exercises will help you feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to go back to work! You will also notice that you can take on a few more hours on your computer than before.
You can download, print and post in your office this informative computer user’s health visual guide.
Bio: Katrina McKinnon is the Community Outreach Manager for Alsco. Alsco provides hassle-free and convenient linen, hygiene systems, and first aid rental services for the restaurant and hospitality industry.