5 Ways Employers Can Support Employee Health

2019-01-30

Every year, there are new health and fitness trends that come and go. However, there are some basic facts about our health and well-being that are unchanging. Many people have the goal to become healthier but get deterred because they don’t know where to start or they believe they’d need to overhaul their entire life.

employee-healthEmployers can do a lot to support employee health. Healthy employees are happier, more productive, and better team players. Having healthy employees also leads to a stronger employer brand as well as a reduction in sick leave, absenteeism, and turnover.

In fact, if you want to attract and retain talent, it’s vital to offer attractive health incentives otherwise your employees will simply go elsewhere. The good news is that it doesn’t require a lot of effort nor cost a lot of money. On the other hand, not investing in employee health can really cost your business.

Here are five simple ways employers can support employee health:

1. Start The Day Off Right

Breakfast has often been said to be the most important meal of the day. A nutritional breakfast gives us the energy for the day ahead as well as concentration. Whether it’s a slice of toast and a green smoothie, or a protein-packed porridge and a cold-pressed juice, there are few better ways to start the day.

Eating well helps improve our sleep patterns, and overall health. 

As an employer, why not offer employees free breakfasts once a month, offer breakfast or lunch subsidies, or simply offer fresh fruit every day?

2. Move That Body

It has been well documented that, at the very least, we should walk 10K steps or exercise for 30 minutes every day. The good news is that this is easy to achieve. Getting off the bus a couple of stops early on your way to or from work or walking during your lunch break is a great way to get your numbers up.

Even better, companies can contribute to employee health by offering discounted gym memberships. Employees can then work out before work, after work, or even during their lunch break. Another way employers can contribute to the health and fitness of their employees is by arranging social clubs which include after work sports activities such as football, handball, basketball etc. 

3. Meditation Helps Manage Stress

Among its many scientifically proven benefits, meditation has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety as well as improve information processing, decision-making, and focus. Meditating just ten minutes a day can make a huge difference to your life.

Just like the physical health incentives employers can offer, another great way companies can contribute to employee wellbeing is by offering free meditation classes either during lunch breaks or before work as part of a social club.

The best part about meditation is that it is available to us anywhere, any time of day. Take a mini “timeout” during the day by taking a few deep breaths through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. Take a few deep breaths can help you let go of any stress, regulate breathing, and sharpen focus.

In addition to classes, there are several meditation apps on the market, which offer a variety of options and allows you to track your progress. You can also find hundreds of free guided and non-guided meditations on YouTube too.

employee_health-24. Connect Body and Mind Through Yoga

Like meditation, yoga has many health benefits. Connecting the body, breath, and mind through a sequence of movements, yoga also helps reduce tension and aids in relaxation.

Other benefits include increased muscle strength and increased blood flow, which can help improve posture.

In addition to dedicated yoga studios, most gyms now offer yoga classes several times a week, which is a big plus for employees who receive a discounted gym membership courtesy of their employer.

Employers could also offer free morning or lunchtime yoga classes as an extra employee health incentive.

5. Keeping Hydrated and Focused

As described by Natural Health News the human brain is made of around 85% water, therefore, when we’re not adequately hydrated, we can experience symptoms such as headaches, poor concentration and reduced short-term memory. Drinking water also helps our kidneys and muscles.

Exactly how much water we should drink each day is often debated. However, the consensus seems to be around 2 litres.

Companies can make it easy for their employees to stay hydrated by installing a couple of water stations in the office offering both sparkling and still water so employees can fill up their reusable bottles throughout the day.

Offering a range employee benefits, including those listed above, are a great way to support employee health. Want to know what benefits employees want most? Download Benify’s Employee Happiness Index.

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