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On Sunday 7th April this year, we celebrate World Health Day, a campaign run by the World Health Organisation to raise awareness of the need to improve public health on a global scale. There are many health issues that can be addressed around this day – and throughout the month of April – and generating a campaign for your workplace can seem a little daunting. That’s why we’ve put together some handy ideas that you can use to engage your staff this April.
1) Set Exercise Goals and Incentivise
One of the best things that you can do for your health is to engage in regular exercise that raises the heart rate. There are numerous physical and mental benefits, and the NHS recommends getting in at least 150 minutes a week, spread out over 5 x 30-minute sessions. If your workplace is particularly sedentary (i.e. desk-based), setting some small exercise goals can help get your staff moving, and even boost morale.
Try handing out some basic pedometers, and encourage staff to get in as many steps as they can over a week. Then maybe the winner doesn’t have to make the teas and coffees for a whole week!
2) Ban the Bad Snacks (and Celebrate the Good Ones)
Diet forms an important part of everyday health and can influence things such as cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, not to mention fat levels, which can cause a whole host of health complications if too high. Snacking can play a big role in developing a poor diet, and cutting out unhealthy snacks can make a real difference.
Now obviously you can’t just ban crisps and chocolates for a whole week and get away with it, so getting in some healthy alternatives can be a great way to get staff working together to a healthier means. Try stocking the break room with fresh fruit or switching caffeine breaks out for green tea. One of the days you could even host a staff lunch, opting to put together a cholesterol friendly meal, or some dishes under 300 calories – it’s a fantastic way to get everyone banding together, particularly for smaller organisations.
3) Host a Health & Wellbeing Event
One of the absolute best ways that you can engage your staff around the subject of health and wellbeing is to show them why it should matter to them. How do you do that? Give them a snapshot of their current health with a staff health check, of course!
Here at New Leaf Health, for example, we offer 10, 15 and 20-minute health screenings directly to staff in the workplace. Within just a few minutes we can tell them if their cholesterol or blood sugar is too high, and if their blood pressure falls outside of the normal ranges, offering guidance and advice on the next steps. Imagine a staff member discovered that their blood pressure was too high – that’s potentially life-changing news that requires an alteration of lifestyle. Worse still, imagine they didn’t have a health screen and didn’t find this information out; things could have gone from bad to worse.
4) Train Your Staff in First Aid
Although it’s better to think about preventative measures when considering workplace health, inevitably we have to consider reactive measures too – and accidents in the workplace do happen. It’s the law that most workplaces should require at least one member of staff trained in Emergency First Aid, but why stop there? First aid skills aren’t just useful in the workplace; trained staff members take these skills home with them at night and at the weekend, and could even use them to help save someone’s life.
Investing in your staff in this way is a fantastic way to show that you care – about health in general, as well as their own personal development.
Mental Health First Aid is also proving to be increasingly necessary, especially in the workplace where more and more staff are reporting mental health issues that are directly linked to work. Take a look at how our own Mental Health First Aid course works, and learn more about why it can be useful in the workplace.
5) Support a Good Cause
World Health Day is an awareness day aimed at engaging the wider public in health topics, so it offers a great opportunity to raise money for health-related charities that may be important to you or a colleague. It can be something as simple as a bake sale, a raffle, or even an office quiz – as long as it gets people involved and helps to raise some money. Even if it’s just a little, it all counts. Here are some great health-related charities that you could raise money for:
Just to name a few. Speak to your staff and find out what charities are important to them.
Hopefully, this list has given you some great ideas for the workplace this World Health Day (7th April). If you’d like to find out more about in-house health checks and health events for your staff, feel free to get in touch:
Call 01384 877855