If someone had told me two years ago when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer that today I would be reveling in the news of a clean bill of health, I wouldn’t have believed them. However, I recently received a report from my radiologist stating that there is “gross remission of the prostate cancer . . . with no gross evidence of malignancy remaining.” In other words, a clean bill of health is exactly what I now have and I owe it largely to the radical changes I made in my diet and eating habits.
In working to transform my own health habits over the last couple of years, I became increasingly aware of how much more energy I have and how much more productive I have become as a result of improving my diet and committing to consistent exercise. I now feel like I’m thriving on a daily basis instead of simply functioning; it’s a feeling that everyone deserves to have and it’s a healthy state of being which will naturally boost productivity levels in anyone who achieves it. For these reasons, I reached out to my employees and offered them the opportunity to participate in the same detox/cleanse program and diet transformation plan (the Misner Plan) that has enabled me to maximize my own health. Nine employees took me up on the offer, successfully completed the detox/cleanse, are continuing to focus on making healthy food choices, and have reported that they have noticed a significant improvement in their energy and productivity levels.
We are continuing to make small changes around the office to encourage healthy lifestyles and today I’d like to share some ideas surrounding how we’re transitioning to a healthier environment in hopes that other offices might be inspired to follow suit. Here are five changes business owners and office managers can make in order to boost the health of employees:
- Install a water filtration system with hot and cold water. Having access to pure water, not plastic water bottles or tap water, will encourage your staff to hydrate well. Hydrated brains are productive brains. Drinking soda, coffee, and black teas dehydrate our bodies. In our office, we provide coffee makers and staff members sometimes bring sodas and teas from home yet we provide herbal teas and fresh, purified water to encourage these healthier choices by making them free and readily available.
- Engage the entire office in a doctor-approved, body detox program. One of the first things I did after receiving my cancer diagnosis was to complete the 8-Day Detox developed by Dr. Bill Kellas at the Center for Advanced Medicine. Doing a body detox is a great way to help the body eliminate the toxins that often contribute to weakened immune systems and frequent colds & flu viruses–illnesses which account for a lot of sick time being used by staff. When nine of our office’s staff members participated in the 8-Day Detox, they were motivated and encouraged by the support and accountability they received from one another to complete the program and each of them have since remarked about being very glad they participated as they are now motivated to continue making more healthful food choices and continuing to experience more of the benefits of better health day by day.
- Provide healthy alternatives at staff luncheons and celebrations. Most offices provide lunch for their staff from time to time. This gives a good chance to evaluate the food you’re making available to employees. If your lunches are centered on burgers, fries, and milkshakes, consider adding some healthy alternatives such as turkey burgers, whole wheat buns, fresh juices, and salads. Not everyone will opt for the healthier options, but there are many who will appreciate having the choice. At birthday celebrations, include a fruit platter with the cake and ice cream.
- Start a walking club at work. You may be surprised at how many of your employees would come to the office early in order to walk together. Walking isn’t a vigorous activity which will make people wish for a second shower before starting the day at the office and it can be an invigorating way for people to get a jump start on their day. Our office offers employees a free, on-site, weekly Qi Gong/Tai Chi class during the lunch hour which is a mid-day opportunity for staff to relax, refocus, and refresh.
- Keep morale high in the workplace. Having a strong sense of positive morale has always been something we’ve aimed for in our office and after my cancer diagnosis, we began to put an even bigger focus on this. Mental health has such a profound impact on health that we decided to start a “Daymaker Initiative” based on David Wagner’s book, Life as a Daymaker. The focus on making someone else’s day better really captured the interest of our staff–there was a noticeable increase in office morale and in kind words and actions being exchanged among employees after they each read David’s book. Simply creating a positive environment can make your office a healthier place to be.
Do you currently incorporate tactics/offer opportunities which encourage healthy lifestyles within your office? If so, I’d love to hear your ideas and what feedback/results you’ve experienced in employee health & productivity as a result of making such efforts. Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below. Thanks!