As the Clean Eating Coach, one thing I know for sure is that when we eat the healthiest of fresh, whole foods and exercise regularly, we can’t help but feel better about ourselves. And those results extend to the work we do every day.
A healthy employee is a more productive, focused and energized employee with a positive mindset. The kind of person who’s much more likely to be a “go-to” person because they have the ability to deliver results and get things done, due in part to a healthy lifestyle.
The fact that May 19 is National Employee Health and Fitness Day reminds me of how important it is for businesses to step up to the plate and support their employees in creating better, sustainable health. As much as all of us would like to think we can get and stay healthy on our own, the reality is often that people need support to create a healthy lifestyle. And with more of us spread way too thin with working long hours, taking care of children and/or aging parents and struggling to have time for basic activities like cooking, cleaning and errands, our health and wellness can easily take an unintended back seat.
Cutting edge companies that understand the value of healthy employees already know this: when health and wellness services are provided on site for employees and they don’t have to leave the premises, take Weight Watchers for example, they can gain education and knowledge during the day in a convenient setting and achieve much better results than trying to do it on their own. In addition, employees have the ability to support and gain encouragement from each other– what’s better than a built in support network and buddy system?
As a health coach and nutritionist, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with a variety of companies that see employee health and wellness as a priority and are willing to put money behind it. These are companies that get it — they understand the bottom line issue. In our contracting economy with smaller profit margins, having healthy, motivated employees can make a big difference in increasing the bottom line.
Even though National Employee Health and Fitness Day is only one day, it’s an important reminder that any of us take a stand in our workplace to encourage greater corporate support. Here are a just a few ideas that you might think about:
- Suggest a lunch time lunch and learn series of health and wellness speakers
- Hold a wellness fair with a variety of providers sharing healthy information
- Have a “screening day” with local medical professionals who can measure blood pressure, bone density and other health risks
- Start a fitness series featuring yoga or tai chi
- Create a group fitness or healthy eating program where employees can get motivated to learn and make healthy changes together
- Work with the food service staff to create healthier menu options in the cafeteria
The possibilities are endless, it’s just a matter of planting some seeds. Can you see the possibility for how an employee health and wellness program could be a win-win for both employees and companies? Can you imagine how impactful next year’s National Employee Health and Fitness Day can be by moving in the direction of healthier workplaces over the next year?