Promoting Healthy Habits in the Workplace

Photo Credit: Dr. Abdullah Naser, Flickr

Yesterday, the New York Times Well blog ran a story about the effects of exercise on the human brain. For a while now, people have believed that regular exercise improves cognitive function, but a recent study examined just how real those benefits are. Not surprisingly, the results suggested that not only does exercise change the brain, it may also improve thinking skills such as memory and mental multitasking.

It’s not the only study examining the benefits of regular physical activity. One released in April proved that a person’s physical activity today can have a significant impact on their cognitive function decades from now. Other research has proven that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can help reduce anxiety.

That got me thinking about healthy options available in the workplace. Considering that the average American will spend 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime (that’s more than 10 straight years!), you can’t deny the fact that our work environments have an impact on our health.

Last month, Greatist released a list of the 44 Healthiest Companies to Work for in America. The winners spanned a broad range – from huge corporations like Microsoft and Kaiser Permanente, to tiny companies like ZOZI, a San Francisco-based start-up dedicated to travel adventure experiences. We’re not talking about a fruit bowl in the community kitchen – we’re talking on-site physicians and nurses, free gym memberships, climbing walls and unlimited vacation days!

Now, I realize that adding meditation rooms, treadmill desks for every employee and indoor swimming pools may not be realistic for every organization – but there are certainly some other options that might be a fit for your company:

What does your company do to encourage healthy life-style choices? Share in the comments below – we’d love to hear your ideas!

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