How much time do you think the average employee will spend at work? An estimation suggest an employee could spend between 1,300 and 2,200 hours at work each year (OpenIDEO, 2011), making work an integral part of our lives. So just how can we promote wellness at work?

Given its prominence in our daily lives, work can clearly influence our physical and mental health. Many workplaces across Australia are improving employee wellness through a range of initiatives aiming to make employees both healthier and happier. Below are three simple ways you can improve wellness in your workplace.

1. Healthy food and snack options

Does your organisation provide healthy food options for staff? You need to first assess the situation. Then identify what can be done to increase the healthy food options available to staff.

Check to ensure you are providing healthy options in staff rooms. Providing tea and coffee is common place in most businesses but perhaps you could switch out the unlimited cream biscuits for a seasonal fruit bowl.

If your business has a vending machine, what is available? Could you reduce the amount of soft drinks and potato chips in the vending machine and ensure healthy options such as dried fruit and nuts are on offer too?

Finally if you have on on-site cafeteria, are there nutritious meals available to your staff? Identify what can be done to reduce the amount of salt and sugar in the meals.

Check out: Healthy Eating Policy for Workplaces

2. Consider mental health

Mental health can often be overlooked when creating a wellness program for your workplace, yet untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces $10.9 billion each year (HeadsUp, 2014).

It is important to increase awareness of mental health conditions. This can be effectively implemented by providing training for staff and managers. Training should ensure the roles and responsibilities of all staff are clearly understood and also communicate how the business is supporting better mental health in the workplace.

Supporting staff experiencing mental health conditions is also key. Having the resources and expertise to assist employees in staying at work whilst managing a mental health condition or returning to work is critical to promoting wellness in the workplace.

3. Promoting wellness through preventative care

Although, in essence the CoolXChange gel bandage is a product to treat injuries, we strongly believe the best way to promote wellness is to preempt the issue. For example, providing on-site flu vaccinations means fewer employees off sick in winter, which translates to higher worker productivity.

Businesses can also encourage exercise through a range of initiatives. Many organisations provide gym membership discounts, on-site group classes and even company-funded bikes. Other ways to motivate employees could include: lunch hour walking clubs, reimbursing employees for fun run entry fees or simply providing adequate shower and locker facilities can encourage your staff to be active during the work week.

How do you encourage wellness in your workplace?

CoolXChange supports healthy active lifestyles. The reusable gel bandage provides cooling and compression with no need for refrigeration. Keep the bandage in your workplace first aid kit.

For more ways to promote wellness in the workplace check out:
– Why you need a wellness program in your workplace
– Not forgotten: First aid kit contents checklist