Home Archives May 2008 Easy, low-cost ways to keep employees healthier

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

Wheel man

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.


Read more...

Reader Input Survey

News
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Click here to fill out our survey on energy and environment issues. Results will be published in our June 2014 issue.


Read more...

The future of money

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JAKE THOMAS

An ancient institution moves slowly into the digital age. 


Read more...

Buy the book

News
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
2 03.25.14 thumb bookshopBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.


Read more...

The more they change, the more they stay the same

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
100-best-collageBY BRANDON SAWYER

The 100 Best Companies get more creative with perks and more generous with benefits; employees seek empowering relations with management and coworkers.


Read more...

Green your workplace

News
Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Read more...

Branching out

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
DSC04185BY LINDA BAKER

A blueberry bush is a blueberry bush — except when it’s a blueberry tree.


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