Did you know that nearly 80% of adult Americans don't get the recommended amounts of exercise each week? This is a set up for many different types of problems.
What's more, many people spend most of their day sitting in uncomfortable chairs in front of a computer. This can lead to back, wrist, neck, and hand pain.
Ultimately, without a workplace wellness plan, your startup may end up with unhealthy and unhappy team members. But you can help.
Let's look at five ways startups can encourage healthy habits for their staff.
#1: Ditch the soda machines
One way to encourage healthy habits is to get rid of your soda machines and install water dispensers.
Most people aren't properly hydrated, and this negatively affects them. For example, when people "think" they're hungry, they're often simply thirsty.
You might install vending machines that offered different varieties of flavored waters or no calorie seltzer water-type drinks.
Another option is installing water fountains that have a spigot for water bottles. This encourages your team to also save the environment by using their own refillable water bottles.
#2: Institute more break periods
Sitting for long periods is bad for your staff.
Because they don't feel productive if they aren't sitting at their computers, your employees are less likely to get up and walk around.
Sitting for excessive amounts of time leads to many health problems including a risk for diabetes, heart disease, and most certainly back pain.
Tell your team you expect them to get up and move around every 30 minutes. They can do this for just five minutes to reap the benefits. Have mini yoga stations on each floor of your startup with a wall poster showing them how to stretch their back, shoulders, hips, and neck.
Team members may even decide to walk up and down the stairs for this five-minute period. Once it's over, everyone will feel better.
#3: Install healthier office equipment
Consider offering your team members the option of standing desks.
Work with an office supply company to help you set up ergonomic workstations. Have them train your team on how to take care of their backs, necks, and wrists if they work at a desk all day.
You can also set up a small workout room with a stationary bike and treadmill. This might encourage employees to take quick workout breaks.
#4: Create a stress management plan
Stress strikes all businesses, but it's of particular concern to startups. Why? There is so much at stake, and team members are often wearing multiple hats, and working long hours.
Invest in some ways to tackle mental wellness as well as physical wellness. This might be access to mediation areas, on-site yoga, or other wellness classes.
Offering flexible schedules and work environments can also help with stress management.
Stress reduction also results in higher productivity levels.
#5: Try walking meetings
Who says meetings must be in a conference room with everyone around a table?
Consider having your weekly meetings while going for a walk around your office. If that doesn't work because you need a computer, take a walk to the nearest library or coffee shop.
By adding exercise to mundane weekly activities, taking it outside into the scenery, and moving around, you offer your employees a mental and physical break.
This results in higher productivity and more engaged meeting attendees.
As a startup, you have the unique ability to create a company culture that benefits everyone.
You can create a culture of wellness where your employees are encouraged and supported to lead healthier lives.
To create this culture of wellness, it has to start with you and your managers.
If your staff sees your management team making time to work out, take all their vacation time, and manage reasonable schedules, they'll feel more empowered to do so as well.
Yet, if your team is expected to work more than 40 hours a week, sacrificing health and family time, you will have a hard time encouraging healthy habits. Consider providing enough time off for your team, flexible schedules, and time for exercise in your work week.
You'll find that healthy employees are not only happier employees, but they are more productive employees.
Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.
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