What perks and incentives can you offer to keep your people fit and healthy?
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Achieving a healthy lifestyle can feel like an ongoing battle. Recent research from CV-Library found that a large number of professionals struggle to balance work, with keeping fit and healthy.
While there are a number of reasons for this, it’s important that work doesn’t stand in the way of a healthy lifestyle. Below I will outline how you can promote a healthy lifestyle in your business, and why you should make it a priority.
Why is it important?
It might seem as though your employee’s lifestyle choices are out of your hands. But it is very much in the interest of employers to encourage their staff to make healthy decisions.
Why? The majority (81.5%) of professionals agree that regular exercise helps them to stay focused at work, which is good news for any business! Staff that feel unhealthy and lethargic are more likely to be fatigued, distracted and less productive as a result.
What’s more, professionals revealed that exercising before work made them feel better and more productive throughout the day. Those that chose to exercise after work said it helped them to unwind and leave behind the stresses of the day.
Workplace stress is an ongoing problem across the UK, and taking the time to unwind at the end of the day is important. In addition, it means your employees will return to the office the next day feeling refreshed and ready to work.
Is work really the problem?
While work is not the only cause of an unhealthy lifestyle, it certainly plays a big role. In fact, nearly three quarters of professionals (72.8%) believe that their job has had a negative effect on what they eat, with 36.4% saying they have gained weight as a result.
The top causes for this were identified as sitting at a desk all day (50.1%), snacking a lot at work (40.3%), eating more due to the stress of the job (31.2%) and colleagues bringing unhealthy snacks into the office (28%).
And, as if snacking your way through the working day wasn’t bad enough, many professionals revealed that they struggle to fit in exercise around their job.
With experts recommending that you should work out 4-5 times a week, it’s concerning to learn that the majority (31.6%) only exercise once or twice a week, and one in four (24%) confessed that they don’t exercise at all!
One of the main reasons for this is that workers simply can’t find the time to fit exercise around work and their daily lives. Not to mention the fact that 66.7% admit that they sometimes have to skip their workout, because they’ve had to stay late at the office.
It’s clear then that work is a key contributing factor towards the lifestyle choices of many UK professionals. And who can blame them! After a long day at work, the idea of sweating it out at the gym and eating a salad for dinner can feel a little bleak.
So how can you promote a healthier lifestyle at work?
There are so many benefits to regular exercise – we all know this! However, many still struggle to find the time to work out. A great way to encourage staff to start doing more exercise is to introduce perks that can facilitate this. These don’t have to be expensive.
Almost half of UK professionals (49.9%) said they would appreciate free or discounted gym memberships as a perk of the job. Others said that they would be tempted by other incentives, such as walk or cycle to work schemes.
Alternatively, you could offer flexi-time, allowing staff to start or finish work earlier depending on their preferred time to exercise. This doesn’t cost you anything, and staff will still be doing their contracted hours, only they have more flexibly to fit in that important work out.
You could also encourage your employees to make the most of their lunch breaks. Even just a short walk around the block and a break from the desk can work wonders.
When it comes to healthy eating, it can feel like an impossible task to dictate what staff put into their bodies. But providing complimentary healthy snacks (such as fruit) in the break room can be a great way to encourage staff to swap their unhealthy snack for a better option.
Another idea is organising healthy company lunches. These work particularly well in summer when you can arrange a picnic style lunch, encouraging staff to come together and enjoy the fresh air – whilst also enjoying a healthy bite to eat!
It’s clear that there are benefits to both employers and staff when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. There are a number of great perks that can encourage staff to eat better and be more active, and these come at little cost to your business. As we settle into a new year, now is the perfect time to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst your workforce.