What is workplace health?

Most people in employment spend 60 percent of their waking hours in work, so healthy habits in the workplace can make a big impact on employee wellbeing.

We’re all responsible for the lifestyle choices we make, but employers can make healthy choices easier for their staff.

A business culture of support and flexibility, healthy adaptations to the workplace, and on-site wellbeing activities all encourage your workforce to take positive steps for healthy living.

By investing in staff wellbeing you’ll create a healthier workforce that feels valued, and you’ll be rewarded with wide-ranging business benefits.

Physical activity

Adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of physical activity that makes you breathe harder and feel warmer. Every ten minute burst of activity counts towards the weekly total, so small changes to daily working routines can really add up.

This could include:
  • going for walk at lunchtime
  • climbing the stairs instead of using the lift
  • offering to do the ‘coffee run’ to a local cafe
  • cycling to work, or walking part of the way.
We’ve got all the resources you need to set your workforce a fun and active challenge.

Eating well

We consume a third of our daily calorie intake while at work. The food and drink options available to us – and the choices we make – can have a big impact on our overall diet.

There is a legal duty on employers to provide clean drinking water and eating facilities. But by improving access to healthier food and drinks at work, employers can help their workforce to eat regular well-balanced meals and drink enough fluid.

Use our ideas and inspiration to help staff eat well  in your workplace.

Stress

Excessive pressure can cause stress, which can lead to mental ill health if prolonged or severe. Stress can be caused by work or situations at home, and it manifests in people in different ways.

The workplace can make a positive contribution to mental wellbeing in several ways. These include having a supportive culture, training line managers to recognise the risks factors for poor mental health, and by being open to flexible working arrangements.

Here are some ideas to enhance mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Smoking

The majority of smokers want to give up but need support to do so. The workplace can play a key role in supporting staff to quit because:
  • It’s a convenient place for smokers to access support. Providing smoking cessation opportunities at work makes it easy for employees to attend.
  • Attempting to quit as part of a group, with colleagues, makes people more likely to stop for good.
  • Colleagues can support smokers to overcome the routine of having cigarette breaks during the working day.
Health at Work can help you to support staff that smoke to quit.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is unlikely to feature in many workplaces. But employers can support their workforce to be self-aware of their drinking, and understand the recommended guidelines.

In addition, an organisational alcohol policy can clarify:
  • expectations regarding staff reporting to work fit for duty
  • rules around drinking alcohol while on duty, and at corporate events
  • company procedure if employees are in breach of the policy
  • support that will be provided to staff who are alcohol dependant.
Check out our Guide to Alcohol  and more ideas to raise alcohol self-awareness  in your workplace.

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