5 Ways to Promote Wellness In Your Business

By Stefanie Neyland, Small Business Content Developer at BizLaunch.com


There’s been a great deal of talk lately about ‘wellness’ and the positive effects it can have on our everyday lives, and some of Canada’s largest companies are beginning to get in on the action by integrating wellness programs into the workplace to create a healthy and engaged workforce.

Workplace wellness is linked to greater productivity, less absenteeism, increased morale and reduced staff turnover. So is it something small businesses should be investing in?

“Absolutely,” says Andrew Patricio, founder and CEO of small business training company, BizLaunch. “Research has shown that an employee's work environment directly impacts their health and wellbeing. If businesses can create a positive work environment, they’ll find that both they and their employees can get a lot more done in less time.”

If you don’t have the budget or resources to implement a complete wellness program, the good news is that there are many things you can do to ensure the health of your workforce. Here are five steps to help you introduce healthy habits into your business.


1. Promote work-life balance

Good employers realize that work-life balance doesn’t mean that their employees are being less productive. In actual fact, it’s quite the opposite. Positive work-life balance allows staff to do good work, perform to their full potential and accomplish their goals—and it’s done by offering your employees more freedom over their time so they can balance each aspect of their life in a way that works for them. Consider offering staff greater flexibility through schemes such as flexi-time and remote working to improve their sense of work-life balance.


2. Are you sitting comfortably?

Your average nine-to-fiver spends on average 2080 hours at their desk per year, so in order to avoid potential future health problems, it’s important to ensure that your employees are sitting comfortably. Consider purchasing new office chairs with added lumbar support for your staff members (check out this guide on buying the right office chair), and be sure to teach them how to sit properly at their desks.

Seats should be adjusted so that users are sitting in the correct position—with feet flat on the floor and elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. As well, the lower spine should rest flat against the back of the chair to maintain proper curvature, and the computer monitor should be positioned in such a way that the user doesn’t have to tilt their neck up or down to read the screen. Educating your employees on the best way to sit at their desks will decrease eye strain and will also prevent hunching of the back and craning of the neck.


3. Take a break

It’s important to encourage your staff to take regular breaks. Whether it’s a five minute coffee breather a few times a day, a walk around the office, a long weekend or a two-week vacation—we all need to give our brain the opportunity to rest and recharge. No amounts of orthopaedic chairs and sitting correctly can offset the potentially damaging effects of sitting still for extended periods of time, so make sure you encourage your staff members to get up from their desk for a few minutes every hour.


4. Offer healthy snacks

We all know how tough it is to reach for a piece of fruit when there’s cupcakes in the kitchen, so consider stocking up on healthy snacks for your staff—think fruits, veggies, nuts and crackers. When you feed people nourishing food at work, you’ll find that they get more done, think more quickly and make better decisions. They’ll also appreciate the effort you're making to improve their lifestyle.


5. Encourage exercise

It’s no secret that having an active lifestyle is the key to a healthy body and healthy mind, so consider thinking of new and innovative ways to get your employees moving more. Ideas could include providing secure bicycle storage so staff can cycle to work, starting a lunch hour walking club, or offering partially subsidized membership to a local gym or health club. Alternatively, consider buying your employees a pedometer or some form of wireless activity tracker, such as the popular Fitbit Wristband, to allow them to monitor their steps, calories burned and sleeping patterns.

Making the effort to create and maintain a healthy workplace culture is well worth the time—no matter the size of your business.

What do you do at your organization to encourage wellness amongst your employees? Share your tips by tweeting @StaplesCanada!

By Andrew Patricio

December 10, 2014