Creating a Healthy Work Environment

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It is sadly true that most of us spend more time away at work then we do in our own homes. For this reason, it is important that we have a healthy food environment at work. Not sure if you have one or not? Ask yourself some of these questions: if I forget to pack my lunch, are there healthy options available for me to purchase? Does my employer celebrate my accomplishments through high calorie, high fat food choices alone? Do my coworkers have frequent “treat days” where everyone contributes by bringing in foods that everyone eat all day long? Is there one or more candy bowls in my work area?

As you ponder about your answers to these questions, think about how much different your workday would be if you had a healthy work environment. I have the opportunity to visit many local businesses to work with employees for their nutrition goals and see how valuable a healthy work environment can be. The Bank of Oak Ridge is one example of how they worked to improve wellness for their employees by creating a wellness basket with nutritious snacks for their employees. This basket is available in their break rooms and provides snacks like individual trail mixes, protein bars, lower sugar granola bars, popcorn, fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts. In addition, there are refrigerated options such as fresh fruit and string cheese. This initiative seems to be well received by employees. Overall, employees like having healthier options available to them and will select these options when they are provided as a choice.

So what if you don’t have this as an option at your workplace? Well, then you can create your own wellness basket for your desk drawer so you will have options for those days when you are running late and don’t pack your lunch or snacks throughout the day. Better yet-take the initiative to create a wellness basket in your own department. It is always better when you have the support and encouragement of your coworkers so you can work together on creating and supplying the various items for your wellness basket. Don’t wait-be the reason for the change at your workplace!

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