Wellness at Work: Why?
Neha eats breakfast on the way to the office in her car or at her workstation when she is on for work…if she eats breakfast at all. Most of the days she even forgets to pack her lunch, so this leaves her at the mercy of food available at the cafeteria or around the office. Sometimes Neha works straight through lunch, not getting enough time to eat her lunch. And other days, she eats her meal at the desk, working or scrolling out on the web not actually realizing how much and what she is eating.
Due to her insufficient food preferences during the day, Neha finds herself in an afternoon slump with a desire for a sweet treat or yet another caffeinated beverage.
Guess what? Neha works for you. Or maybe Neha is sitting beside you in the cubicle. Or maybe, just maybe, Neha is you.
Despite who your Neha is, here are some reasons we owe it to her to have employee wellness programs accessible at her workplace.
We spend almost half of our waking lives at our workplace and influences from our surrounding environment are one of the largest determinants of health.
Here are a few key findings that demonstrate the issue:
People face self-control problems when picking food.
Food decisions are usually based on sentiment, emotion and not rational thought. External suggestions can have a significant effect on the food chosen, the quantity consumed and the eater’s opinion of how much was eaten. A lot of people eat breakfast, lunch, beverages, and snacks at work each day. A healthy environment at the workplace that positively impacts consumption of healthy food could support build habits that further move over into employees’ personal lives.
We all are a product of the individuals we surround ourselves with the most. An unhealthy workplace contributes to an unhealthy workforce, bringing each other down. On the other hand, a health-conscious work atmosphere could bring us a notch closer to our best.
Stress is hitting us.
Job strain – characterized as high external demands with low levels of reward or control – has been associated to self-reported ill health, adverse mental health outcomes as well as a spectrum of chronic diseases, right from diabetes and heart disease to depression and rheumatoid arthritis.
If we could flip the model and create the workplace, a place for stress reduction – or at least a place that offers meaningful resilience building and coping skills – we could actually make a large impact on the prevalence of chronic disease.
As an employer, you have the chance to shift the course of history by becoming focused on creating the healthiest environment possible for your workforce during the workday.