Creating a Healthy Workplace

By Gretchen Bolander

Published 04/24 2014 06:18PM

Updated 04/24 2014 10:39PM

Taking a sick day can have a much bigger impact than missing a day of work.  One study estimates employee health issues cost American businesses 225 billion dollars a year.

"When you don't feel good - you're not going to be as productive. If you're heavier than you'd like to be, just your normal daily movements are going to be more difficult. Bending up and down, those things are going to be a little more difficult for you." And Freeman Wellness Coordinator Kris Drake says there are a wide range of options to make the workplace a little healthier. For example, incorporating exercise. "There's things you can do at your desk. One of the things I see people doing is seeing people sitting on a stability ball because you're using your core muscle. Of course you have to make sure your workplace is agreeable for you doing that. You can do pushups against the wall, you can do squats against the wall."

Drake says an employer can offer incentives for workers who reach fitness goals. Or they can issue a challenge. "We just recently had our Freeman 5K and we increased participation by at least 2 times because people came out together to walk with co-workers when normally they might not do it on their own." The boss can also consider offering healthier food options through the vending machine or cafeteria. "Make sure you have the nutritional informational available to them so they can make the best choices possible."

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