Whether you’re a small startup or a large business, you should always take the time to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees. Hardworking individuals often forget to take care of themselves – they work late, skip lunch, don’t exercise, and don’t take a day off. This leads to mental burnout and physical exhaustion, which can hurt the productivity of your team.

Encouraging employee wellness can lead to a happy and productive team. Simple encouragement from leaders and supervisors reminds employees that they need to take care of themselves. Here are 4 ways you can begin creating a healthier team.

Provide healthy snacks and lunches

Many employers already keep snacks on hand for employees or buy them lunch on occasion. Food is an excellent way to show your team that you care. Feeding your team can also increase their productivity! But if you’re feeding your team, make sure that you’re giving them healthy and nutritious options. Don’t simply fuel them up on carbs and sugar. Junk food leads to fatigue and a number of health concerns, including obesity.

Avoid chips and candy as snacks. Fresh or dried fruit, veggies, string cheese, or nuts are all good alternatives to junk food snacks. If you’re providing lunch for the office, look into companies in your area that will provide a healthy catered lunch. Some offices also like to do healthy potluck lunches, where each employee is responsible for bringing in a healthy dish.

Not only does providing your team with healthy options increase their productivity at work, but it could also lead to them changing their overall eating habits. Instead of grabbing a processed snack as they walk out the door in the morning, they can come to work and enjoy something fresh and nutritious.

Use standing desks

Desks with adjustable heights allow employees to switch between sitting and standing. Desk jobs often result in sedentary lifestyles, where folks spend more time on their bottoms than moving. Sitting doesn’t burn as many calories as standing or walking does, so people that sit for work often end up overweight and obese. Sitting in the same position can also lead people to feel stiff and achy.

To help encourage more movement during the day, have employees alternate between sitting and standing. HADO desks make it easy to change positions throughout the day. Sometimes simply providing a standing desk is enough encouragement for employees, but if your employees are still spending more time on their bottoms than on their feet, set a timer to let them know when to change positions.

Bring in a yoga instructor

Some employers might encourage forming a work baseball team or going on a 5K run together, but these activities limit the participation of employees that aren’t in great physical shape. Yoga is a great physical activity to do as a team because people can perform at their own fitness level. Instead of pushing to keep up with the rest of the team, employees that might need occasional breaks can simply sit out of doing an exercise. A professional yoga instructor can help cater instructions to the group as a whole, as well as work with individual members within the group. Yoga can be intense or relaxing. According to WebMD, yoga burns calories, tones muscles, and improves flexibility. It is the perfect mind-body workout that everyone on your team can participate in, regardless of their current fitness level.

Hold a fitness contest

A good competition will get most employees up and moving! There are a number of ways to organize a contest. For example, you could put employees in pairs and encourage them to track their miles with a Fitbit. The team that has the most miles at the end of the week wins a prize. Employees will enjoy trying to outwalk other teams.

Wearable technology, such as Fitbits, makes a number of contests possible. Devices can monitor miles walked or ran, fitness levels, sleeping habits, and more. Many devices can also be synced so that wearers get updates on team members and the competition.

If your team isn’t into weekly or monthly challenges, focus instead on quick impromptu challenges such as who brought in the healthiest snack.

Conclusion

These are four simple ways to start encouraging your employees to be healthier individuals. Remember, wellbeing isn’t just about getting physically healthy. Ideas such as the ones above can also help employees experience less stress, which can increase mental wellbeing. Many employers are creating employee wellness programs to promote health and wellbeing. The ideas above can be incorporated into a wellness program or can be used on their own.