Sure, June marks the start of summer. But June is also Professional Wellness Month. Sounds boring, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we had a quick mCHAT with our totally not boring CHRO Sheryl Simmons and asked her to share some practical tips you and your employees can use to improve health and wellness – not just this month but all year long.
What do you think is the most valuable takeaway for Professional Wellness Month?
First and foremost, don’t get hung up on the outdated ways people used to look at wellness – think instead about your employees’ overall wellbeing. Wellbeing efforts should address the person as a whole, including their physical, emotional, social and financial status. Because let’s face it, things like stress levels can have just as big of an impact on your health as the number of steps you take in a day.
What are some tips HR professionals can share with their employees to help them maintain their health and wellness while at work?
Encourage employees to get away from their desks to enjoy their lunch. Reiterate that it’s okay to sit outside, in the office kitchen or to grab a conference room with co-workers. The main goal is for them to get away from their desks, give their eyes a break from the screen and to give their minds a chance to rest.
Remind employees to drink lots of water throughout the day, especially in the hot summer months. They should shoot for half their weight in ounces. Take it a step further and start an office water challenge with a prize for the employee who guzzles the most H2O (keeping in mind the safety risks of over-consumption).
Limit caffeine intake. This is a tough one for me since my blood type is French Roast. However, I try to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee I drink. This can also work for soda drinkers.
Encourage your employees to take small breaks throughout the day, get up and stretch or take a quick walk. This will help with both physical and mental health.
How can HR make sure to educate employees about what they should do to stay healthy?
Above all, it’s essential that employees are able to read and understand their health benefits. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to help them boost their understanding of insurance basics, send them to the FAIR Health Consumer site. It’s an independent, non-profit organization providing fair and neutral healthcare information including things like a cost estimator and information to help better understand your healthcare bill.
What are some resources HR professionals can share with employees who are looking to improve their physical health?
The Exercise Library from ACE Fitness is a good resource with lots of exercises people can do at home plus, it’s free.
Share the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout app. That’s a freebie too!
The Couch25K running program is a great program that’s designed for beginners.
The National Institute of Health has provided six strategies for improving your physical health that is definitely worth checking out.