Illness-related diminished productivity costs US industry $227 billion per year. Additionally, another $232 billion a year is spent on medical care and prescription medications. While a portion of those staggering losses are just the cost of doing business, a lot of that money is spent on treating largely preventable conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control reports the most costly health conditions afflicting US workers are high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Since poor diet is a contributing factor to all those illnesses, Detroit-based small business owners interested in optimizing productivity and reducing operating costs should encourage their employees to start eating healthier. Here are a few suggestions on ways employers can improve their worker’s diets and their companies’ bottom lines.
Make Healthy Snacks Available
One of the easiest ways for founders to improve their employees’ eating habits is to provide them with healthy snacks. For a few hundred dollars a month, small business owners can help their staff avoid chowing down on unhealthy junk food by stocking the break room with fruit, nuts, granola, water and juice. And you can expose your team to a variety of healthy meal options whenever you hold meetings, training sessions and holiday parties.
Offer Discounted Gym Memberships And Meditation/Yoga Classes
According to Mayo Clinic, one of the main reasons Americans engage in emotional eating is to quell their work-related stress. As such, owners can motivate their workers to eat healthier by helping them deal with their stress more effectively. To do this, small business should offer their employees discounted gym memberships and yoga/meditation classes. If your employees channel their stress into their workouts or relieve it in their yoga sessions, they won’t need to turn to overeating as an emotional crutch.
Host A Healthy Eating Workshop
In many cases, people who don’t maintain poor eating habits because indulge in them. They do so because no one has explained to them what eating right actually means. Consequently, your workers may believe that sticking to a sensible diet means being hungry all the time, or that eating healthy is prohibitively expensive. However, you can dispel all of these misconceptions by having a nutritionist host an on-site healthy eating workshop. After just one session, you could set your entire team up to greatly improve their quality of life just by changing the way they thinking about eating.
To learn more about affordable healthcare plans for your small business, visit Health Alliance Plan.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Detroit.