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Employers ‘aiming to improve office worker health’

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An increasing number of employers are beginning to recognise the importance of having a healthy and active workforce, it has been claimed.

Writing for Hive Health Media, Lewis Humphries said that, in the past, employers have been largely unconcerned with their staff’s activities or lifestyle outside of the workplace.

So long as lifestyles do not impinge on workers’ everyday performance, the majority of bosses have made no effort to intervene.

However, Mr Humphries suggested that this mindset is beginning to change as more people draw parallels between an optimised physical condition and improved mental performance.

“Companies today are constantly looking to get the most from their staff and empower them to grow as a valued team member, and are therefore willing to explore any number of avenues in order to achieve this,” he suggested.

Mr Humphries highlighted three ways that employers may seek to encourage their workers to lead healthier lives, hopeful that this may lead to increased levels of productivity.

Firstly, some are planning outdoor team building exercises, which take their workers away from the sedentary lifestyles they may lead in the office.

“It may well be worth introducing them to active living and outdoor pursuits as ways of inspiring them to embrace a new lifestyle choice,” he suggested.

“A physically challenging team building exercise could be just the ticket, especially if it encourages teamwork and interaction between your members of staff.”

Mr Humphries claimed that physical exertion and fresh air can also trigger creative thought processes, which can only benefit growing businesses.

Another way employers may seek to change the lifestyles of their workers is by switching food supplier and adding healthier dishes to any canteen menu.

Firms could consider reducing the amount of fat or sugar-laden foods they feed to employees, he claimed.

And finally, employers may be able to see an improvement in overall health by encouraging their workers to walk more – both on the way to work and during the course of the day.

“Although some individuals are forced to drive due to their location, however, many do so out of habit without realising that the option of walking is both viable and surprisingly time effective,” Mr Humphries added.

“As an employer, it may be worth encouraging your staff to either walk or cycle where necessary on their daily journey to work, as again this burst of physical exertion has the potential to stimulate their mental performance at the start of the day.”