Eating well at work has never been so easy or delicious. Employers are doing more than ever to encourage and reward healthy behaviors. Financially, it makes sense: for every dollar a company invests in wellness programs, it saves an average of $3.14 (in health insurance, sick leave, etc.), according to one study. So, how can employers—all kinds, sizes, in various settings—help their staffers to eat and live well? Here are some creative ideas that will inspire you to initiate positive change in your own work world.
1. Ditch the vending machine and replace it with a refrigerator to save energy and get rid of a tempting junk-food showcase. Stock the fridge with water, 100% fruit juices and other healthy beverages.
2. Recruit a "moving" crew: Each week, invite employees to gather at lunchtime for a brisk 30- to 60-minute walk. Spend the second half of lunch hour back at the office, enjoying a healthy meal together.
3. Stock healthy snacks at the office, such as fresh fruit and nuts.
4. "Turn off" together: Make it a company policy to power down the switchboard for an hour at lunchtime so that hard-working staffers can take a peaceful yoga class or enjoy a mindful meal.
5. Call in a healthy caterer instead of ordering pizzas to sustain your team during seminars or late work nights. Offer fresh wraps, salads and sandwiches along with apple slices, bottled water and homemade cookies.
6. Demand change: Join together with other employees and rally to bring local foods and healthier choices to the company cafeteria. Your vote matters, so find that comment box at your work café and use it.
7. Send in the farm: Once a week, call on a local farm to deliver a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) "share" of fresh produce. From the bounty, employee volunteers can prepare communal lunches for the entire staff.