Simple Ways to Promote Employee Health

Did you know,  U.S. adults working full-time spend an average of 8.5 hours at work per weekday?  With that much time in one place—whether remote or on-site—it’s no wonder workers are experiencing fatigue and restlessness at record levels. The good news for employers is there are ways to support worker health that yield long-term benefits for both parties.

Read on for five ways to encourage employee health, increase productivity and foster a more mindful work environment.


Declare Office Recess

Recess isn’t just for kids! More and more businesses have started “office recesses” to give employees a midday energy boost. Workers are encouraged to take a break and just do something else. This could mean taking a 15 or 20-minute walk, grabbing a snack, reading a book—it doesn’t matter. Just as long as this break is promoted by managers, and employees feel comfortable taking advantage of it.


Take a Stand

With study after study confirming sitting’s detrimental effects on a person’s health, many employers have begun offering more active work solutions. Standing desks are becoming popular in offices everywhere, and increasingly on the company’s dime. Stretching and short walks throughout the day—even just around the office—have also proven effective in maintaining employee mental acuity and productivity.


Stop Staring

Between laptops, tablets, phones, televisions, and other devices, people spend a dizzying amount of time staring at screens. In a perfect world there would simply be fewer screens at work, but since that isn’t a feasible option, employees have found other ways to lessen digital eyestrain. Eye doctors typically recommend following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes take a break and stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Workers can also try taking notes by hand in meetings and where digital assistance isn’t necessary.


Be a Sounding Board

Mental health is just as important as physical health, sometimes more so. The best companies listen to their employees and take action when it’s needed. Employees don’t complain for the sake of complaining, and it’s important they feel heard and understood when problems arise. This is important on an individual basis as well. Let workers know they can come to you with concerns and personal issues, and that you’ll be there for them to offer solutions or just an empathetic ear.


Lead the Way

Employees often look to leadership for behavioral cues. This means employers have to practice what they preach. Take small breaks throughout the day, stare at device screen(s) a little less, choose healthy snacks in the breakroom, and encourage a dialogue around healthy behaviors and mindsets. Encourage employees to discover mechanisms for long-term physical and mental wellness and keep your own journey visible as an example of how to set personal fitness goals and stick with them. The more your employees trust you, and by extension the company, the easier it will be to have genuine, quality conversations and interactions.