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Workplace Wellness Can Start with Barefoot Bosses

by Kat » on Jan 29, 2015 0

Source: Flickr CC

Source: Flickr CC

Workplace wellness is a trend that many employers claim to support, but when it comes down to day-to-day implementation, it’s hard to get a program off the ground. That’s why it’s so important for companies to practice what they preach and implement wellness policies from the top down.

If HR allows casual work attire because it helps employees move more and stay active throughout the day, lower tier workers may only embrace it if higher-ups set the tone and do the same.

So how can upper management and CEOs help instill healthy habits in the workplace?

Encourage Walking Meetings

This is one of the easiest ways to implement healthy behaviors in a workplace but it’s still so rarely practiced. Get a group of colleagues together to discuss important ideas while on-the-go. Studies show that when you move around, you increase blood flow to the brain, which can result in more creative thinking. Juliet Rodman, Chief Wellness Officer at Wellness Corporate Solutions, makes a point to gather her colleagues and walk around the block at least once a day to hear their ideas and decompress.

Invest in Sit/Stand Desks

Studies show that sitting too much is as unhealthy as smoking. We might not think that our desk chairs are hurting us, but hours of sitting without a break has deleterious consequences on the human body. That in turn increases healthcare costs and can hurt an employer’s bottom line. Keep your employees in tip top shape and healthcare costs low by investing in sit/stand workstations. These contraptions allow workers to adjust their desk as needed to accommodate their mood and energy level each day. It makes it easy to stand for longer periods of time and sit only when necessary without impacting posture or work output.

Go Barefoot

Minimalist shoes are all the rage but a truly free environment supports shoe choices of all types. Shove those uncomfortable heels in the back of a closet and wear FiveFingers around the office to show that you’re in touch with overall physical wellbeing. This sends the message to others in the company that they are welcome to do the same. Even if the general atmosphere is more formal, most people won’t notice if your footwear is on the casual end.

Ultimately, there are a number of things employers can do to encourage workplace wellness, but it typically helps to start from the top. Barking orders at employees isn’t going to motivate change. Implementing healthy habits yourself and suggesting that your peers follow suit is the best way to see healthy routines trickle down within a company.

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