Wellness in the Workplace

Wellness in the Workplace

I spend most of my working hours at a place called the Center for Good Health. For a person interested in her personal wellness, there couldn’t be a better environment for me. “Good Health” is in full swing around here. If you walk through our office, you’ll notice a nice kitchen with a full-size fridge. Open that fridge and you WON’T see sugary drinks, lots of sweet desserts, bags of take-out, or highly processed foods. You WILL see a glut of salad greens, multiple containers of low-fat yogurt and whatever fruit was on sale this week, and crisper drawers stuffed with fresh produce. It’s much easier to eat healthfully when the others around you are doing it too.

With a fully equipped gym less than 50 feet from my desk, it’s hard to say I don’t have time for a workout. And when you see the locker room and showers adjacent to the gym, you’ll know for sure that I have no excuses.

Yes, I’m lucky to work in an environment conducive to a healthy lifestyle—with coworkers who also value eating well and staying active. If you aren’t as lucky, try these simple suggestions for keeping yourself healthy on the job:

•    What IS available? It’s surprising how many employees at different companies have no idea that their employer has a wellness program or some other kind of healthy initiative. Does your employer offer corporate rates for gym memberships? Is there a pedometer challenge going? Even if your employer doesn’t have a robust wellness program, they probably offer something. Find out what and take advantage of it.
•    Recruit your coworkers. It’s always easier to make something positive happen—or abstain from something negative—if you don’t have to do it alone. So, start a “Fit Fridays” walking club, or throw away your extra Halloween candy this year, instead of dumping it in the community bowl at the office.
•    Health-ify your space. Are you sitting at a desk most of the time? Replace the candy bar in your desk drawer with a healthier alternative. Schedule yourself stretch breaks. Do you work on a factory line? Make your locker a “no junk food zone” and do a few squats or lunges when there’s a lull.

Make healthy tweaks where you can. And, while your employer might not be ready to add “Good Health” to the company name, your personal commitment to wellness might rub off on your coworkers, and together, you can begin building a better culture of wellness at work.

What do you do to create a health-conscious work environment? We’d love to hear your ideas! Really wish your company had a worksite wellness program or better health culture? Contact us at (616) 394-3344. We can help.


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