Office Design

5 Smart-Portion Tips for a Healthy Corporate Culture

David Spence
March 20th, 2014

Put Bad Office Health on a Diet

1. Fight the Flu

How many of us have the best intentions to get a flu shot, but get so busy with other things that we put it off and put it off until we find ourselves lying in bed with aching joints? To keep your team happy and flu-free, Inc.com’s Lauren Lastowka suggests making flu shots easy to get by providing flu vaccines at the office. Contact your local health care providers or pharmacies to find out how you can set up on-site vaccinations for your staff. They’ll have one less thing to worry about, and so will the company.

2. Rethink Your Vending Machine

Replacing cookies for kale may not be a viable option for making your vending machines healthier, but there are plenty of foods that fall closer to the heart-friendly end of the spectrum. Lastowka also suggests stocking your vending machines with more snacks like nuts, granola and protein bars. (Depending on the type of vending machine in the office, you may even want to offer fruit and Greek yogurt.) As for drink machines, try offering more healthy beverages like water or milk instead of soft drinks.

3. Don’t Hold Sit-down Meetings

A recent story by Time magazine writer Steven Brill described how twice a day, the team of programmers who fixed the once-floundering HealthCare.gov website held stand-up meetings. These were sessions where the group all stood up while working through their challenges for that day (though the 45-minute length of these meetings did make some people eventually sit down). The same idea would fit right in with a healthy workplace—workers stay seated enough during the day, which can be harmful for their health. Instead of continuing that trend with sit-down meetings, try shaking things up a bit by holding your own stand-up meetings, or even walking meetings.

4. Hold Fitness Competitions

According to Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple, another unique way to promote health in the workplace is to start a “walking club.” Essentially, it’s a fitness competition rewarding whichever teams take the most steps. Distribute pedometers to each employee, then divide them into teams by floor or department. Have workers wear them for one to two weeks, then add up the total amount of steps taken by each team. Whoever has taken the most steps during that time (including weekends) receives a reward.

5. Offer Health-Related Classes

Some of your colleagues may want to live healthier lifestyles, but they might not know how or where to start. To learn what their specific challenges are, consider creating a poll gauging your colleagues’ interests in different lifestyle topics—like healthy cooking, or mental health awareness—and bringing in speakers based on the results. Exercise classes held during lunchtime can also benefit your colleagues; just be sure to let your coworkers know about them well ahead of time so that they are prepared to bring a change of clothes to the office on that day.

With a few small but effective steps, you can make your office a healthier place to be. Just be sure to have some anti-bacterial wipes on hand to keep it that way—they’ll be useful when someone brings their cough with them to work.

 

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photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc