5 tips for creating a healthier work environment

5 tips for creating a healthier work environment

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Healthy employees are critical to a healthy workplace. Studies show that corporate health and wellness programs can save companies as much as $10 for every dollar invested.

“Stress can be a real problem in the workplace,” said Kristen Harisay, president of West Jordan-based ProHR. “It’s definitely one of the top health hazards in companies.”

Employee stress can lead to depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. This can lead to negative workplace relationships, reduced work speed, more mistakes and increased sick days.

“It’s really important to address stress situations in the workplace. It is imperative to maximizing profits,” Harisay said. “I’m always looking for stress reduction techniques to incorporate into human resource strategies when advising clients.”

Hillel Mazansky, who specializes in nutrition and medical hypnosis at GIANINC, an organization that promotes health through guided imagery and nutrition, agreed with Harisay.

“Employee health is key to creating a healthy work environment. Having physically- and mentally-sound employees increases productivity, efficiency and saves money in the long run,” Mazansky said.

Stress can be attributed to roughly 60 percent of workplace absences, Mazansky said. He offered five tips business can encourage their employees to use to increase health and reduce stress:

  1. Get up every 30 minutes to stretch and take deep breaths. This will improve posture and keep fat from settling on your body.
  2. Maintain proper blood sugar levels. People should eat five times per day in order to do this. This includes a large breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a medium-sized lunch, a small dinner and an evening snack. Keeping blood sugar up increases happiness, sleep quality and creates happier working relationships.
  3. Practice visualization techniques when stress is high. Take five minutes to breathe deeply, visualize yourself relaxing on a beach, and each muscle slowly relaxing one by one. After 5 to 7 minutes, visualize your body returning to the office feeling more alert.
  4. Find ways to be active. If your office is on the 20th floor, take the stairs to the third floor and catch the elevator there. Instead of driving to lunch, walk to a nearby restaurant.
  5. Get your daily dose of one hour’s worth of daylight. Studies show that those who are outside have higher levels of vitamin D and are less stressed. “If businesses encourage their employees to do these five things, they will notice employee stress go down and productivity and efficiency go up,” said Mazansky.
Alyssa Vincent earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah and is a public relations coordinator for PRMarketing.com, which represents SEO.com. Contact her via Twitter @AlyssMarieV

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