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Posts Tagged ‘healthy work environments’

6 Ways To Promote Health In The Workplace

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Smiling medical doctor woman with appleIt’s not easy running a business. You have a lot on your plate on a daily basis. And one of the most important daily tasks you have is ensuring the health and safety of all those who work for you. Without a staff that is comprised of positive-minded, well-rested, energetic members, your company is bound to endure some hardships. And, of course, the last thing you want is to have any of your employees endure an illness or injury.

It would especially be unfortunate and detrimental to your company if your employees become ill or injured while on the job. So while motivating your team members towards productive work days is always a necessity, it is equally important to keep in mind that you should be promoting health and wellness on the job. That way, you can ensure a strong and productive team that is happy to work for you.

Here are six ways to promote health in the workplace:

1. Advocate exercise. One of the most popular excuses that people give for their lack of exercise is that they have no time. By offering facilities at your place of business, you give people reasons to lose that excuse. On Inc.com, Lauren Lastowka offers up an alternative to providing gyms and showers, if doing so isn’t possible. “Implement and promote a lunch hour walking club and offer incentives for employees who participate,” she suggests.

2. Encourage better nutrition. Do you have vending machines at your place of work that include an array of chocolate bars and potato chips? If so, lose them. Food that promotes poor health is not doing your company any favours. Not only should you offer healthy options at your cafeteria but according to Dr. Jeffrey Brown in a special to Financial Post, you should “offer incentives for reaching health and weight goals.”

3. Find ways to minimize stress. Stress is bound to occur on any job. But the less of it you’re able to put on your employees, the better they’ll be able to perform their duties. “Unmanaged stress has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep trouble,” reminds Lastowka, “At the workplace, it can lead to inefficiency, job dissatisfaction, and absence from work for related health conditions.”

4. Make drinking water available. If you don’t have water fountains set up at your place of work, bring in water coolers. The importance of staying hydrated cannot be understated. Dr. Brown insists that you “educate staff to stay hydrated by drinking 8 oz. of water each working hour. Discourage caffeine, sodas and energy drinks in the office. Provide clean-filtered water. I recommend reverse-osmosis filters, which are cheap and effective.”

5. Have a doctor make “work calls”. You’ve heard of “house calls” before, right? Why not implement a similar practice at your office? “One of the most innovative trends in workplace wellness has been that of the office doctor’s office,” informs Lastowka, “On-site health clinics give employees the opportunity to schedule office visits for routine care without taking time off work. And they seem to be successful.”

6. Open up the windows. There are few things worse than a dank, congested and musty workplace. Be sure to let in fresh air and sunlight to brighten up the moods of everyone on your team. “Sunlight refreshes us, triggers are feel good chemicals, strengthens our joints and bones, and helps our immune system,” says Dr. Brown, who goes on to mention that “Sick Building Syndrome is an increasing cause of illness and lawsuits.”

Why Ergonomics In The Workplace Is So Important

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Happy Executive in Ergonomic ChairWhen an employee is ill or injured, it’s so important to get that person back to a state where he or she is healthy enough to be capable of carrying out their duties. Making working environments as comfortable for employees as possible is key factor in having a productive workforce. However, it shouldn’t require an illness or injury to occur in order for adequate ergonomics in the workplace to be considered.

What exactly is ergonomics, you ask? It’s all about the environment within which one works and how that person is able to complete tasks within it. The tools used by employees to carry out their job requirements are considered in the study of ergonomics as well. The importance of ergonomics in the workplace lies in each employee’s ability to work within a space that is ideal for them to do their jobs well.

On WebMD.com, it is explained that attention to ergonomics is found through setting up one’s workstation in such a way that it lessens risk of headaches, eyestrains, back pain, neck pain and even bursitis or tendon problems that are often linked to doing the same tasks over and over again. The site actually goes on to note that most injuries that occur on the job are related to making repetitive movements, poor posture, bending over, lifting heavy objects and falling.

Ergonomics, as you may have guessed, can help to prevent all of these pitfalls. Naturally, there are numerous benefits to keeping employees healthy. Obviously, there are benefits to both the employees and the employers who depend on them to make their companies successful. On Ergo-Plus.com, Mark Middlesworth writes that “leading companies are integrating ergonomics deeply into all of their operations” and goes on to list their proven benefits.

Ergonomics improves productivity. Middlesworth notes that designing a workplace that promotes good health can only make workers more efficient. Creating an environment that allows for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions and better heights and reaches, he says, will help to create a much more productive staff. After all, as human beings, we all share a need to be comfortable, no matter where we are.

Ergonomics improves quality. Speaking of being comfortable, no one likes being frustrated and tired. Middlesworth points out that people aren’t able to work properly when feeling such strains. “When the job task is too physically taxing on the worker, they may not perform their job like they were trained,” he writes, “For example, an employee might not fasten a screw tight enough due to a high force requirement which could create a product quality issue.”

Ergonomics improves employee engagement. It is often said that a happy staff is a productive staff. And this often entails strong relationships among the various members of a working team. When a company puts forth efforts to ensure health and safety, says Middlesworth, employees notice and it often boosts morale. In addition, high energy levels on the job help to decrease absenteeism.

Ergonomics creates a better safety culture. “Ergonomics shows your company’s commitment to safety and health as a core value,” writes Middlesworth, “The cumulative effect of the previous four benefits of ergonomics is a stronger safety culture for your company. Healthy employees are your most valuable asset; creating and fostering the safety & health culture at your company will lead to better human performance for your organization.”

At Independence Incorporated, we offer an “Ergonomic Assessment” to closely examine the relationships between employees and their work environments. We seek to ensure that the individual needs of employees are being met and that there is a match between workers and their activities, equipment, tools and systems. We provide written assessments and evaluate all factors before following up with our clients.

For more information about our “Ergonomic Assessment”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.