The Journey Begins with One Step: Encouraging Employees to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
As a small business owner, you understand first-hand the commitment it takes to start a successful company. And you also understand how the process has to be broken down into smaller, more do-able tasks, like creating a strong business plan and finding office space. The same thing is true for living a healthy lifestyle: It starts with a few simple steps. And that’s where you come in. By creating a workplace culture that promotes healthy living, you can help your employees take that first step to being healthier and happier.
Busy work weeks can make it tough to carve out the extra time it takes to exercise regularly, prepare healthy meals and tend to mental health. This is where workplace health and wellness programs come in. Making it easy for your employees to achieve their wellness goals increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and lowers stress. In addition, these programs lower health care costs and can reduce workers’ compensation and disability-related costs.
It can be overwhelming for employees to revamp their entire lifestyle, but you can partner with them to achieve their health care goals by helping them get started with simple choices at work. Use these tips to propel them in the direction of healthy living:
- Provide healthy eating options. Even though you can’t influence what your employees eat at home, you can help them make healthy eating choices in the workplace. Keep your office’s kitchen stocked with healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, string cheese, protein bars or granola. And when possible, offer healthy breakfast and lunch options in the office. Not only will this help them eat better at work, but it can even motivate them to make more nutritious eating choices for dinner — they won’t want to undo all the good decisions they’ve made throughout the day.
- Get them moving. Employees who sit at the computer all day with no movement run the risk of encountering physical issues such as weight gain, high blood sugar and cholesterol. Suggest people have walking meetings or organize walks during lunch to keep them from sitting for too long.
- Offer in-office health screenings. When your employees know their personal health status, including their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it can help them realize they need to adopt healthier habits. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Premium Wellness programs enable employers to provide in-office health screenings such as blood pressure, BMI and cholesterol. Contact your local regional sales office for information about pricing and scheduling this service.
- Tell them about the Blue Cross mobile app. The Blue Cross mobile app boasts a variety of resources for your employees’ healthy living journey. Blue Cross® Health & Wellness online resources can help keep them accountable for their health. Programs such as the Personal Health Record, Digital Health Assistant, health assessment, Pregnancy Assistant, health trackers, message boards that connect them to others with the same goals and interactive tools provide them with actionable tips on how to improve their health.
Visit our employee resource page to learn more about ways your employees can optimize their health care coverage. Find printable information about Blue Cross® Health & Wellness programs you can share with your employees on bcbsm.com/engage. For more tips on how to promote healthy living with your employees, visit these blogs:
- Creating a Culture of Health in Your Start-Up
- A Good Idea: Wellness Programs That Help Employees Stress Less
- The Importance of Mental Health Programs in the Workplace
Photo Credit: Evan Lovely