Do you keep up with trends? Are you pop culture savvy? Then answer this trend question: What’s the biggest change we’ve seen in the workplace since the advent of the computer?
DING DING! You got it! It’s fitness in the workplace!
If the title and our constant jabber about Nutrition Month were not already dead giveaways, anyone who’s been working in any type of medical or mental health practice has noticed two things:
- How much more sedentary computers have made us, and
- How much more important keeping healthy has become for the mind, body, and again, the MIND.
How do you maintain the mind? While there are many causes for mental health issues, one simple way to help keep the chemicals in the brain moderated is to exercise. With over 146.7 million people working nationally, and the majority of those jobs having become sedentary due to reliance on computers and desk work, stress, obesity and high blood pressure have skyrocketed. Still, only 25% of the employees who have high blood pressure are actually diagnosed! You know what that means? If 4 of your employees are diagnosed with high blood pressure, 16 may actually be suffering from it!
So as an employer, what can you do about your employees’ stress levels, weight challenges, and consequently, fitness needs?
It may sound costly, but it’s a great benefit to your practice to provide an area to work out or create a fitness incentive program. Some ideas include:
- Pairing with Weight Watchers for a cheap and tax-efficient fitness education plan
- Promote healthy eating with healthy-only vending machines
- An on-site fitness center – this would require liability protection
- Create a walking club and incentivize membership to employees
- Offer a discount for a local fitness center to avoid liability issues
- Bring in a personal trainer or fitness professional to work with your employees
Mental health is a top priority for both patients and employees. Most adults working in the US are riddled with high blood pressure as a result of stress and poor eating – two things easily solved by staying healthy and getting good exercise. In the medical field, we know how imperative it is to stay active, yet we rarely find the time to do it ourselves! There’s no doubt that reducing stress in the workplace will lead to a more stringent and happier environment with proper reporting, and therefore limit human error. And what does human error lead to? Malpractice, be it by poor record keeping, oversight, or misdiagnosis. We’re only human. Let’s stay healthy! Set standards this month to keep you on track all year: it IS Nutrition Month after all!