One of the most dangerous aspects that can detrimentally affect your health is being overweight. In fact, obesity can be a contributing factor to such problems as sleep apnea and high blood pressure, to heart disease, and even cancer. And while the main responsibility for getting to and maintaining a healthy weight should be the individual, should other lifestyle areas play a role in preventing obesity? A majority of most people’s time is spent at their work. Should employers be working toward helping their employees maintain weight health as well?
Business coach Lynne Frost believes that the workplace is the perfect climate for approaching the subject and even encouraging employees to be healthy. Since we do spend so much time at work, and the work place cafeteria, Frost believes, “Employers have many opportunities to promote individual health and forest a healthy work environment. Employers that encourage healthy behaviors, like smarter eating and regular physical activity, benefit along with their employees.”
Employee Benefits Of A Corporate Cafeteria:
Over the last several decades, obesity rates have skyrocketed in developing countries. South Africa was ranked number seven on the 2018 list of Top 10 Fattest Countries in the World, putting the country’s inhabitants at a much greater risk for strokes and heart attacks. Frost believes that this is due in most part to the globalization of fast food restaurants and the increasing consumption of beverages that are loaded with sugar.
While it might seem strange to equate obesity problems with problems in the workplace, the two are actually linked, and in more ways than one. Providing employees with a company catering service of healthy foods could make a huge impact. Firstly, obese people have a much higher rate of absenteeism, which can cause a lapse in workflow. And when they are at work, many obese people have reduced rates of energy and productivity, sometimes called presenteeism, being at work but not really “being” there. Secondly, the likelihood of an obese person needing chronic or more serious medical attention and assistance is much higher than a person with healthy weight. This will contribute to the employer’s increased costs for medical insurance.
While commenting on or making suggestions about a person’s weight can be a slippery slope at any time in any place, there are a few tactics that Frost suggests for tackling the issue:
- Offer and encourage healthy activities at the office, like using the stairs instead of the elevator, or create safe walking areas for employees to utilize during their lunch breaks.
- Examine workplace cafeteria’s menus and work on offering healthier choices for meals that are not as loaded with processed foods, sugars, and carbs.
- Create a support system within your organization wherein employees can check in and be accountable with one another.
- Provide employees with the opportunity to speak to and work with a wellness coach to help them put together a plan of action for their weight loss goals.
- Losing weight and becoming a healthier person is a tough task. Having a workplace environment that caters to the promotion of health is a small step that can make a great impact.