Content provided by Aetna for the exclusive use of Bank of America and the Small Business Community
A healthy business starts with healthy employees. After all, healthy employees generally cost less to insure. But small employers reap even more with indirect benefits. Healthy employees are more productive on the job. They’re absent less often. And they tend to be happier with their job, which means less turnover and training. That’s why workplace wellness programs are gaining popularity.
No budget? No problem! Here are 5 ways you can promote good health in your workplace right now:
- Be a good example – Your employees look up to you. Show them that you value good health by practicing it yourself. Workplace wellness best practices almost always include visible leadership support as a priority.
- See what your health plan offers – Your health plan may have extra benefits to help employees stay healthy. Contact your plan administrator to make sure you’re taking advantage of any wellness programs offered by your health plan. And make sure your employees understand how to use these programs. If you don’t get it, they won’t either. Be sure to ask questions.
- Start a walking challenge – Provide pedometers to employees, or show them how to search for and download any of the many pedometer options available for smart phones. Put a chart in the office for everyone to track their steps. Then, you can offer a prize to the person who gets the most steps each month.
- Encourage full lunch breaks – People tend to make unhealthy choices when they’re in a hurry. Talk to your staff to be sure they are getting at least a half hour to eat lunch.
- Offer healthy foods at work – If you have a vending machine or cafeteria, make sure you have healthy food options. You can also have a local farmers market deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to the workplace.
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Source: Workplace Wellness Programs Study, Final Report; Soeren Mattke, et al; the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2013; http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/workplacewellnessstudyfinal.pdf, last accessed June 1, 2014.
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