11 Low-Cost Ways to Keep Your Team Healthy
There’s no doubt that a healthy, happy workplace makes for a productive team.
According to a 2013 survey by Keas, people who take advantage of work health programs are three times more likely to be engaged and satisfied in their jobs. But when you’re just launching a startup or leading a small business, investing in wellness programs and gym memberships can be difficult to swing.
Luckily, healthy habits don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of affordable ways to preserve your team’s health and happiness and keep your business running at top speed.
Here’s how to keep your team healthy without breaking the bank:
1. Go to a wholesale club twice a month and stock up on healthy treats like fresh fruit, nuts and granola bars for the company kitchen.
2. Host healthy potlucks. Once or twice a month, ask members of the team to prepare a nutritious dish at home and eat lunch as a group.
3. Bring in a yoga or meditation instructor (or find out if someone in the office moonlights as an instructor) to lead a regular class during lunch or after work. A 2009 study of about 40 adults found that 20 minutes daily of guided workplace meditation and yoga as well as six weekly group sessions lowered feelings of stress more than 10 percent and improved sleep quality.
4. Get out of the conference room and discuss important ideas during walking meetings. A 2011 study of 400,000 people in Taiwain found that just 15 minutes of daily moderate exercise like brisk walking led to significant health benefits, adding up to three years in increased life expectancy. Plus when 15 minutes of daily exercise were added, this lowered all-cause death rates an additional 4 percent.
5. Invest in a standing desk or a few stability balls so employees can take a break from sitting all day. A study last year suggested that breaking up workplace sitting with intermittent standing bouts can mitigate fatigue and discomfort in overweight and obese workers.
6. Promote preventive care by encouraging everyone to get vaccinated or, if you can afford it, offering vaccines in the office.
Related: 5 Healthy Hacks for Busy Offices
7. Encourage exercise by starting a weekly exercise group (think running, yoga or a boot-camp workout) that meets after work or weekends.
8. Inquire about group packages at local gyms. Major fitness chains offer wellness programs and corporate packages.
9. Emphasize education by bringing in nutritionists, health coaches or aerobics instructors to lead an hourlong class. Or just have employees sign up to present a health-oriented practice to the entire team, such as cooking or breathing techniques.
10. Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day to reduce stress. A 2010 study found that even brief mental breaks can dramatically improve a person’s ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time.
11. Have an open dialogue about local physical and mental health resources by keeping a bulletin board posted with information in a common area.