You might expect to be sore after a hard day’s work at a construction site. But office workers who sit in front of a computer all day commonly have “aches and pains” complaints, too. Who would have thought that sitting in a chair can cause debilitating issues that might ultimately mean your employees miss work? To ensure your business is productive and efficient, it is important to take steps to ensure that your employees are healthy.
Here are five tips you can pass on to your employees to help them stay happy and in optimal health.
Walk it off, stretch it out
Many employees will often sit at their desk for hours at a time, only getting up to go for lunch, or for bathroom breaks. It’s a good idea to be getting up out of your desk at least once an hour. Encourage your employees to walk to each others office or desk if they need to chat instead of using instant messaging. Put up posters showing leg, neck, shoulder and back stretches and actively encourage employees to stretch before they start work and at least once an hour.
May as well go for a walk
Another way to get employees more mobile is to make your meetings mobile. If it’s a nice day out, why not walk around the block as a group, or walk to the park and have a brainstorming session. Many employees and businesses use tablets or some form of mobile computing today, so it’s not hard to take the office with you and get work done while you get some fresh air.
It’s important to stay hydrated, even while in the office. Employees who complain of headaches or being lightheaded and dizzy may actually be dehydrated. It is generally recommended that we should be drinking at least 4 big glasses of water each day. These problems can be easily avoided by providing your employees with easy access to fresh drinking water. Put a water cooler in a central location that all employees can walk to. This serves a dual purpose, as it gets employees away from their desks and allows them to take a break.
Offer healthy snacks
Many employees are working longer hours these days, even compared with just 10 years ago. In some cases this might mean your employees are neglecting their diet. Having a vending machine with salty chips or sweet sodas doesn’t help. Instead, opt to stock low sugar drinks and healthy snacks like fruit. While this may cost more upfront, the long term savings in less sick days will more than pay for the investment.
Change the commute
This can be one of the hardest changes to implement, but has positive benefits. Encourage your employees to ride their bikes or walk to the office, or implement some form of exercise within their commute. Be sure that if you do this, you have facilities where employees can change clothes and even take a shower – necessary if your business is in a warmer climate or weather is prone to change without notice.
Healthy and happy employees will go a long way in ensuring your company is operating at maximum efficiency. Beyond that, you’ll see a decrease in lost time and a potential increase in the overall value of your business.