Last month I posted a blog about changes companies can make to boost employee health & productivity and I got an e-mail message in response to it asking if I had any thoughts on how to tell whether or not an office maintained a mostly healthy environment or a mostly non-healthy environment.
There are always going to be some people in an office who are motivated to be healthy and others who are tied to an unhealthy lifestyle, but there are certainly ways to tell when your office could benefit from positive changes.
Here are three signs you office is in need of a Health Make Over:
- Negativity in the workplace. People who do not feel well overall tend to have a more negative outlook on life . . . both personally and professionally. When suffering all day with a headache or fatiue, it is hard to feel or act positive and cheerful. If you notice that the overall energy level of your office is low or negative, then perhaps it is time to brighten things up by focusing on recapturing high levels of health in your office.
- If one person gets a cold or flu, many others get it. When everyone’s immune system is strong, colds and flus do not get passed around quite so easily. Some offices bring in a healthcare worker to administer flu shots each year, although the efficacy of these shots has not been proven by medical studies. In my own office, the focus on building health takes an approach of building up the staff’s own immune systems to prevent the spread of colds and flus. If you find that your office goes through times where quite a few employees are out sick at the same time, you may want to evaluate whether a health make over is needed.
- Many of your staff members are overweight. When the metabolism slows down and people gain a significant amount of weight, other systems in the body are also compromised. The immune system and the liver (which plays a large role in the strength of the immune system) usually do not function as well in people with slower metabolisms. When I focused on boosting my immune system and engaging my liver in the healing process, I easily lost nearly 40 pounds, all while eating four to five times per day. The difference eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and antibiotic-free and hormone-free chicken and seafood was simply amazing. While my immune system became stronger, I naturally and easily dropped the extra weight I’d been carrying for years. Take an objective look at your staff. If you realize that more than 10% of your employees are overweight or obese (with a Body Mass Indicator ((BMI)) of 30-39.9), then your office may benefit greatly from a health make over.
Remember though, you can’t change things over night. I found that the key to encouraging some members of my office staff into adopting a healthy paradigm at work is to make incremental changes, rather than coming in all at once and making sweeping changes. Not everyone in the office will be excited about embracing a healthy lifestyle, but many will. Most people need to make changes and know it, but they may not know how to make those changes, or they may lack the motivation or willpower to do it. Having a healthy, supportive focus at work among others with whom to share this positive shift can make all the difference.
Have you made changes in your office toward maintaining a healthy environment? If so, I’m really interested in hearing what you’ve done. Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below. Thanks!