World Health Day 2020 – Ideas for the Workplace

18 February, 2020

Each year the World Health Organisation designates 7th April as World Health Day – an opportunity to celebrate health and wellbeing in general and promote the values with family, friends and colleagues.

For businesses, World Health Day is a fantastic campaign to leverage in order to promote a healthy message. Last year we posted a blog giving you five ideas that you can utilise in a business setting to promote health and wellbeing, and this year we’re giving you some more! So, without further ado, here are more ideas you can use for World Health Day in your workplace.

 

Raise Awareness Around Blood Pressure

Off the top of your head, do you know what a healthy blood pressure reading is? Better still, do you know your own blood pressure? Chances are, depending on your age and general health, you may be able to answer yes to both of these questions. But could you turn to every person in your workplace, ask them the same question and get a yes from them too? If you think you can then great, no need to read any further! But this tip is for the rest of us.

High blood pressure affects one in four adults in England and is associated with at least half of all heart attacks and strokes. Around 5.5m people in England alone have high blood pressure but don’t know it, and it’s the third biggest risk factor for premature death after smoking and poor diet. All things considered, why aren’t we doing more about it? (source: Public Health England)

A simple awareness campaign including emails and posters could be enough to encourage staff to think about their blood pressure. Even if only one person actually goes to the doctors and gets tested, that’s one more than none. The positive effect of having staff actually do something and rub off on other staff shouldn’t be underestimated, too. If one person gets theirs tested and talks about it to a colleague, they might be inspired to get theirs done, and so on.

Don’t have time to put together a campaign? Click here to download our completely free Blood Pressure Information Poster that you can put up in the office or email out to colleagues.

If you want to take a structured approach to blood pressure testing (plus much more) for your employees, we actually offer a wellbeing day where we’ll come and do health checks in your workplace! Learn more about our Health Check Point.

 

Get Active

There are many, many conditions that are linked to a lack of exercise – heart attacks, strokes, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers are just a few of the serious conditions linked to a poor lifestyle.

When you hear the word exercise, you’d be forgiven for picturing early mornings and late nights in the gym – but it’s not that complicated! A simple, brisk walk actually counts as a form of exercise – as long as your heart rate is up and breathing increases, you’re doing enough.

Translating this into actionable goals is really straightforward too. It can be as simple as encouraging employees to take a walk at lunchtime, or perhaps even offer them 10 minutes free time during the afternoon, before they get sluggish, to get away from their workstations and move around.

You could even go so far as to do something like moving the printer so that colleagues have to walk further to reach it, but bear in mind that walking should be empowering and relaxing – if you haven’t got everyone on board with the change, an initiative like this could prove frustrating and inconvenient. Not good for mental wellbeing! Speaking of which…

 

Talk About Mental Wellbeing

One of the biggest requests we get from our clients is for mental health workshops and training, and it’s clear to see that it’s more important than ever to UK employers. We recently published a blog looking at the best ways to approach talking about mental health in the workplace for Time To Talk Day, and there’s no doubt that tackling mental health is no easy feat.

First and foremost, the best provision an organisation can have in place is Mental Health First Aiders or Champions. Having a visible point of contact for people who are experiencing mental ill-health is vital in signposting them to further help and support.

Mental ill-health and stress were two of the leading causes of long-term absence for UK employers in 2018, with stress-related absences as well as workplace-related stress both rising (source: CIPD). If this is the case in your organisation, it could mean that some self-reflection is necessary, and perhaps offering colleagues the chance to discuss their mental wellbeing at work in an open, non-judgmental way could be a good starting point to help formulate a plan. You may discover that workloads are causing unhealthy amounts of pressure, or perhaps some office relationships are becoming strained. Knowing may only be half of the battle, but you won’t get very far by throwing mental health interventions at the wall and seeing what sticks.

To learn more about the best ways to approach talking about mental health at work, read our most recent blog post: How to Talk About Mental Health at Work.

 

Ask Your Employees What They Want To Do

It sounds obvious, but if you’re doing something for World Health Day in the workplace, your employees will be the best source of ideas. You may discover that someone wants to raise money for a cause close to them, or that somebody wants to make healthy snacks to encourage people to eat healthier. These are your Workplace Wellbeing Champions, and they’re vital to the success of your wellbeing campaigns, as well as the productivity of your workplace in general.

Listening to staff can not only produce some great ideas but can actually boost overall wellbeing too. Colleagues who feel listened-to will feel cared about, and will most likely show some of that care back to the organisation. A simple email survey or intranet poll asking for their thoughts and ideas can be enough to show your employees that you care about them and their wellbeing. Who knows, it may throw out some really great initiatives that can boost wellbeing in other ways – all you have to do is start the conversation!

 

If you’d like to discuss your health and wellbeing strategy in more detail, or you’re looking to host a health promotion event in your workplace, we’re always happy to talk to you. Simply send an email to enquiries@newleafhealth.co.uk or head over to our quote request page to get a quick quote on any of our wellbeing services.

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