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Ideas to Motivate People to Be Healthy in the Workplace

by Gina Scott

A healthy work environment is not only good for employees but also for the company itself. When employees are healthy, they have added energy to work more effectively and typically take fewer sick days. While achieving business goals is important, it's also possible to squeeze in meeting health objectives while making money. A little can go a long way in the effort to motivate employees to be more healthy.

Offer Different Food Options

One of the most straightforward ways to motivate employees to focus on their health is providing better vending machine options. Typical fried snacks can be replaced with baked ones, or nuts and seeds can take the place of candy. If a company offers refrigerated vending machines, they can be filled with fresh fruits and vegetables rather than processed food items. Companies that have on-site cafeterias can also focus on providing more nutritious meals.

Plan Healthy Activities

When you plan special events at the office, center them around healthy habits. Consider ways you can incorporate a positive team atmosphere with healthy living. For example, in the spirit of hosting an event like a company chili cook off, encourage your employees to create healthier dishes instead. Using a common chili theme as a guide, make it enjoyable and suggest that they use a main ingredient like squash or okra rather than chili to come up with something original. Have the employees vote for the best use of the more beneficial food choice and reward the winner with a healthy treat like protein bars for her entire department. Another challenging example is to have employees compete, individually or in teams, to do the most steps in a day, using electronic tracking devices.

Encourage Work/Life Balance

Promoting wise choices in the area of work/life balance is a positive step companies can take toward creating a healthier environment. Arranging teams where work loads are carried by a group rather than a few individuals is one way to send a message of balance. Providing adequate time off and discouraging management from unintentionally penalizing those who are absent for good reasons also reduces stress and improves overall health. While a company seeks to have hardworking employees, those who don't know how to draw good boundaries sometimes end up being less productive in the long run.

Walk It Out

Motivate employees to be more healthy by getting them out of their office. Set an intention at the office that whenever a task can be performed while walking, management encourages this activity. Small meetings could be arranged while taking a walk around the perimeter of a building or in a nearby parking lot. Some companies even go to the length of buying treadmill desks for their employees.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

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