A study by the Department of Health found that physical activity and a healthy diet are important in counteracting the development of chronic diseases. Yet, in today’s fast paced world people feel they don’t have enough time in their day to work out or cook a healthy meal. Do you too find yourself using petty excuses to get out of eating healthier or exercising? Often times it is changing your habits that is the hardest part. A good start to changing your routine is to slowly incorporate healthier alternatives into your lifestyle. That could be brisk walks during your lunch break, snacking on fruits and vegetables, and having a support team to share your progress with.
Organizations have discovered that employees are better able to achieve healthy lifestyles when the entire group shares the common goal. With the whole team on board, no one wants to be left behind! When employees commit to a healthier lifestyle, their work performance is boosted and their stress levels are reduced. Attaining success and less anxiety at work also benefits employees’ personal lives, and could possibly lead them to change their lifestyle habits at home.
Other Side of the Coin
Not only do the employees benefit from an increased amount of exercise and healthier diets, but their organization does too. The World Health Organization researched many studies and concluded that lower amounts of exercise associates with higher rates of annual absenteeism. This low engagement is due to people who do not have a fit and healthy lifestyle, making them more susceptible to cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Not only is work performance impaired, but healthcare costs are also affected.
Still, some employees feel their time after hours is too limited to continue the program at home. Organizations find that going the extra mile is worth it. They could encourage fitness by making a gym more easily accessible by providing a gym at the office or scheduling workout classes after hours. Organizations also understand that working long hours means less time to cook a gourmet, 4 course meal every night. So when focusing on their employees’ diet, some offer employees the ability to arrange a premade dinner to take home.
Speak with your physician before starting an exercise or dieting program if you have any medical concerns.