A person spends more than half the time of his day in his office or workplace. Most office jobs require the person to sit for long periods, affecting their general well-being due to the lack of exercise. It is essential to understand that only a healthy workforce can lead the company in the right direction.
Work Health Promotion involves the employer and the employees coming together to improve people’s health and well-being at work. Many companies provide better equipment for the employees to work, like an ergonomic chair that is great for maintaining great posture and preventing back issues caused by sitting for a long time.
Why is promoting better health among the employees important?
- Monitoring health among the employees can help the company financially. Unhealthy behaviour or practices can lead to degradation in the employees’ health and lead to chronic illness. This can increase the company’s liability to provide healthcare to the employees, and sometimes employees may choose not to work with that company and look for something that does not harm their health so much. Improving health behaviour in the office can prevent this from happening.
- Workspace health programs help in improving productivity among the employees. Healthy employees take less number of holidays and can avoid absenteeism. Presence of a good and healthy work culture can help the employee maintain a healthy mindset and body. This can help the employee to be more resourceful and present.
- Companies can improve employees morale by employing health programs. It can help the employee to obtain better mental health along with physical health. Happier the employee, better their performance in the office. Sustaining the needs of the employee can help him/her achieve and perform better.
How to promote Workplace Health Promotion (WPH)?
- Promoting healthy eating behaviour:
Substitute unhealthy and fast food in the company canteen with healthy and nutritious food. For example, replace packaged carbonated drinks with fresh juice or some other healthy alternative.
- Upgrading the office equipment:
Upgrading the office equipment can help the employees, especially since they use it at long periods regularly. For example, using an ergonomic chair instead of regular seating can reduce backache and other related problems that arise from sitting down for long periods.
- Tobacco and addiction awareness: This can help the employees build up morale and prevent them from developing an addiction and help those who are trying to quit the habit.
- Exercise and Physical Activity: Promoting an active lifestyle and encouraging sports activities by conducting small sports functions. This can bring a healthy culture at the workplace.
- Mental Health Promotion: Mental health can be promoted by offering professional help to employees. Giving them proper awareness on coping with stress and providing counselling services and assistance programs will help them in the long run.
Taking care of the workplace’s physical and psychosocial aspects and encouraging the employee to use their personal resources can help the employee maintain a healthy mindset. Personal resources involve individuals’ capabilities, resilience and the awareness of the presence and intensity of social support that they can depend upon.
There is a lot of research that supports the argument that initiating workplace health promotion can help the employees become better workers and benefit the company. A study conducted in 2010 shows that the absence of proper health culture in the workplace and economic pressure can decrease productivity.