How to encourage healthy habits in the workplace

 In Health Dangers, Healthy Tips, Worksplace

It would suffice to say that employees are vital in keeping a business running. You can have the partners and owners but without people doing the actual work, well, there is no company. Now that we have sufficiently driven through the importance of employees, let’s discuss how we can keep those employees on the job, healthy and happy.

Changing and sticking to healthy habits is a difficult adjustment for anyone not used to it. However, changing to a healthier lifestyle of regular exercise and vegetables will keep employees from getting sick so often.

By encouraging healthier habits in the work place you are not only benefitting your business and turnover but employees will also benefit in that they won’t spend as much of their salary on medical bills.

Healthshare supports healthy living in the work place and we have therefore decided to share our top tips to encouraging healthier habits in the work place.

  1. Tackle the cafeteria

The cafeteria and or vending machines can be a huge contributor to an unhealthy diet. Get rid of vending machines stocking sodas and candy bars and replace them with cereal bars and a water cooler.

Take a good look at the type of food you are serving in the cafeteria. You do not have to necessarily swop everything for carrot sticks and beetroot. The adjustments can be as simple as changing the fried chicken nuggets to grilled chicken and fish. Swop French fries for baked potatoes. Make the changes gradually and be sure to keep your staff’s suggestions in mind, you do not want to risk alienating them.

Serve fresh organic produce and make the food look attractive. Your employees should want to enjoy it, make it look ten times better than the average cheese burger.

  1. Get your employees excited about exercise

How, you ask, do you do that? Simple, by igniting a healthy competition. Get teams together, say different departments, and hold a baseball, football, basketball or rugby match. There is nothing like a competition to get people roused. Just set a prize of course, like a trophy and the winning team gets to keep it until the next match. Throw in a half day for the MVP.

This will not only encourage exercise but team work as well. Have your staff train maybe once a week or so but remember to keep it fun and keep the energy and enthusiasm up. You want to convince your staff that it is vital you win. They’ll get into it, just watch.

  1. Take meetings outdoors

This may sound completely zen and we don’t expect you to loosen your tie and remove your socks and shoes. Simply hold your weekly staff meetings outside. The fresh air will clear everyone’s minds and inspire. Take a walk as you are brainstorming ideas. Your employees will be too happy to stretch their legs and backs after sitting in the office for hours.

  1. Be pre-emptive

The best cure for an illness is prevention. Have your employees undergo a medical test every once in a while, only do not force this on anyone or make any staff member feel uncomfortable. Consider bringing in flu vaccinations during flu season. If the flu can be avoided then you will avoid missing employees for a week or worse.

  1. Be an example

All of these ideas sound great in theory but it is important that, being the leader, you actively participate. Be an example to your team and join football practice and swop your pizza for a salad. If your employees get a whiff that you aren’t participating then why on earth should they? It will make them feel as if you are merely dictating instead of helping.


We have developed our own nutritional product range, perfect for working people on the go. The Phakamisa range stocks vitamins, power bars, rusks and other healthy snacks. If you are interested in ordering for your business, click here.

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