Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Does Your Office Have These Health Landmines? From too little movement to too much crappy food, here's what to eliminate to make your office a healthier place.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The end of the calendar year often means setting personal and professional goals for the coming year. Employee health and engagement firm Keas conducted a survey that found several health "land mines" that challenge workers who are trying to eat more healthfully, reduce stress, and get in shape - 2014 goals that 82 percent of respondents share. That's more than want more money, time or sex in next 12 months.

Respondents want companies to help them in their health and wellness goals, citing cash and prize rewards for participating in corporate health programs (55 percent) and access to on-site gyms and fitness classes (38 percent) as key motivators. At the very least, they'd like companies to avoid these four factors that undermine those goals.

Related: 6 Quirky Fitness Events

Sitting all day (53 percent): It's well documented that a sedentary lifestyle - including sitting at a desk for hours each day - isn't good for health. Keas CEO Josh Stevens says standing desks can be a good solution, but many companies don't offer them. Another solution is to encourage employees to get up and move, stretch or walk throughout the day. At Keas, Stevens is vocal about this matter and says that attitude has helped the majority of employees to get moving throughout the day, including taking walks and climbing the nine flights of stairs to the company's San Francisco office at least once a day.

Poisonous culture. Office gossip (8 percent) and lack of teamwork and camaraderie (11 percent) were also factors that employees cited when it comes workplace health. Such indicators of poor culture can contribute to stress and anxiety, Stevens says. After all, who wants to go to work with a bunch of jerks? His prescription? Foster more interaction between people.

"When people work in silos and don't interact, it's easy for them to lose sight of what's important in the company - its people. When you get people together at company events and actively create more opportunities for them to interact, they get to know and care about each other," he says.

Related: How You Can Form Good Habits and Stick With Them

Free, unhealthy food (11 percent). From fried chicken in the company cafeteria to plates of cookies and brownies ordered in to cater meetings, many offices are filled with food pitfalls. Swap out the unhealthy choices for better ones. Order in lean proteins, salads and fruit instead of pizza and cookies. If you're fortunate enough to have a company cafeteria, make sure you're offering healthful food. Stevens says the way you present the food is important, too. When you put salads and fruit near the front of the line or in a visible place, they're going to be chosen more often than if they're placed as an afterthought to burgers and chips.

Poor leadership (6 percent). Most employees need to feel like their work matters and that they matter to the company. Business owners and managers need to reflect these values in their day-to-day dealings with employees, Stevens says. Develop ways to reward and recognize the behavior you wish to reinforce and set the tone with your own behavior in everything from how you treat other people to how you manage your own health and wellness, he says.

Related: Why You Should Never Eat Lunch at Your Desk

Gwen Moran

Writer and Author, Specializing in Business and Finance

GWEN MORAN is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Travel

Gift Business Travel Stories with Autio for $150 Through Memorial Day

This platform features more than 23,000 location-based audio stories, which make for great travel content.

Business News

Apple iPhone 7 Users May Be Owed a Slice of a $35 Million Settlement — Here's How to Claim Your Share

Previous (and current, no judgment) iPhone 7 users may be entitled to up to $349. The deadline to file a claim is June 3.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Travel

Save on Business Travel for Life This Memorial Day with an $80 Deal

OneAir Elite uses AI to search the web around the clock for flight deals.