The Health-Promoting Workplace: Trends Your Organization Needs to Try

Jan 12, 2016

Workplace wellness programs have always been a win-win for both employees and organizations, with employees improving their health and organizations helping their bottom line. This year, with more and more corporate wellness programs working to create a healthy work experience for employees, organizations are looking for inventive new ways to increase employees’ participation and engage them in their wellness programs. Below are four easy wellness trends for 2016 your organization can implement in the workplace:

  1. Bring Health Screenings and Preventive Care to Work. With juggling kids, bills, housework and other responsibilities along with long hours and a busy workday, most working adults struggle to find time for screenings and other preventive health care. So why not bring these screenings to work? Efforts such as biometric screenings, flu shots and cholesterol screenings in the workplace can help prevent dangerous health issues including diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Plus, by bringing these screenings directly to the employees, it may be easier for them to take steps to focus on achieving better health.
  2. Encourage Wearables, Wellness Walks and Fitness Challenges. Studies show that walking up to 30 minutes a day can lower stress and actually make your employees more productive. Many companies even take “wellness walks, ” or 15-minute breaks in which employees can step out of the office and exercise during the workday. Step pedometers and wearables, such as Fitbit wireless personal trainers, are also easy ways to integrate fitness all day by accurately tracking calories burned, steps taken, walking distance, etc. Consider starting a walking challenge where employees compete for steps taken or calories burned. These small steps can help employees get in the mindset of fitness from the minute they arrive at their workstations and motivate them both in and out of the workplace to keep up their fitness goals.
  3. Provide Healthy Eats for the Office. Along with exercise, balancing a healthy diet in the workplace is also an essential part of good health. But for many workers with limited food options, choosing healthy foods in the office or worksite can be a challenge. Make healthy choices convenient for your employees by providing nutritious options at your workplace. This can include providing vending machine options with fresh, healthy snacks, as well as fruits and veggies at meetings instead of donuts. By offering a variety of healthy food options, employees get the opportunity to try several options to find the best fit for their lifestyle.
  4. “Deskercise.” Rethink office design by integrating physical fitness into daily work activities to encourage workers to become healthier. A variety of office design options help encourage activity, including a desk outfitted with an exercise ball instead of a chair, standing workstations, anti-fatigue mats for employees to stand on while they work, exercise hand grippers and more. Employees can also be encouraged to “deskercise” at their desks during their workday to keep moving!

By using some or all of these tips, organizations can create both lower health insurance premiums and healthier, happier employees.

BHS is in the business of bettering lives, so employees can bring their best selves to work. To learn more about how our EAP solutions can help your organization, contact BHS at 877-524-0555 or email us at [email protected].


Post Written by

President and CEO

Dawn is a graduate of Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) and earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore in Occupational Social Work, with a specialization in Employee Assistance Program administration. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and leads the Quality, Safety and Professional Affairs Committee and Corporate Strategic Planning Committee. She also serves as a board member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Metropolitan Baltimore.