Sponsored by Oregon Business

Easy, low-cost ways to keep employees healthier

| Print |  Email
Thursday, May 01, 2008

Let’s be honest, there is only so much an ergonomically friendly office chair can do to promote health.

As companies grapple with ever-increasing health-care premiums, the need to keep employees happy and healthy can be enough to give a manager high blood pressure. A large company is more likely to have the resources to bring in a hotshot wellness consulting company.

But there are simple, low-cost and stress-free ways a small company can help keep its workers healthier.

It can be as practical as casting off the candy vending machine or as creative as a joke of the day. So lighten up, because laughing, experts say, is incredibly healthy.

Businesses also can encourage employees to ride a bike to work by setting aside adequate bike rack or locker space, says Tammy Kepple, with Kaiser Permanente Northwest. She helps small businesses find practical ways to keep their employees fit. It’s part of what Kepple describes as the importance of environmental design and workplace health.

Kepple also suggests “walking meetings,” where employees walk and conduct business at the same time instead of sitting on their rumps at a table. So go ahead; feel giddy while burning those calories during work.

“The thinking is changing now,” says Kepple. “A supportive environment is important to employees.”

No matter how good the idea, though, it will not catch hold with employees unless supervisors also participate because workers fear looking like slackers in front of their boss, says Tanya Barham, CEO of Recess, a Portland-based workplace wellness consulting firm.

“There is no silver bullet,” says Barham. “But it must be easy and convenient.”

Recess created an office competition for law firm Bullivant Houser Bailey challenging workers to trek the building stairway instead of lazily using the elevator. Attorneys square off against staff, and those who use the stairs more often win. Of course, the winning team also gets bragging rights.

“It has absolutely been a hit,” says Mike Moreland, human resources director at the Portland law firm. “It’s fun and easy to measure.”

 

JASON SHUFFLER



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

More Articles

Meeting Facilities Perspective

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.


Read more...

4 winners and losers in the Kitzhaber scandal

The Latest
Thursday, February 12, 2015
021315-govorno-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.


Read more...

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS