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Five ways to boost employee health


By Matthew Reed, founder of

As a business owner, you have to provide a duty of care to those who work for you. Stress in the workplace can be exhausting for employees and could well be detrimental not only for them but also for the success of your business. There are a number of things you can do, which are effective, cheap and sometimes even free, to keep your employees happy, healthy and satisfied in their job.

Healthy snacks

When working, especially in an office setting, it is easy for employees to be tempted by snacks that are often full of unhealthy additives and packed full of sugar. Providing a fridge full of healthy snacks can encourage your employees to reach for a piece of fruit instead of that chocolate bar or packet of crisps.

If you’re worried about the cost of these healthy snacks, set up a healthy snack tuck box in your office and ensure that prices aren’t too high. Making your prices temptingly cheap will encourage employees to purchase these health foods and they will be far less likely to wonder down to the chip shop at lunch. 

Many companies now provide free fruit for their employees, choosing to invest in their employees’ health by giving them a vitamin C boost. The body struggles to store vitamin C so it’s important, as a business owner, that you ensure your employees are receiving enough; as the vitamin helps to protect cells and keep them healthy.

Manageable deadlines

It’s imperative that you provide realistic deadlines and goals for the work you give your employees. Nothing causes more stress in the workplace than unachievable deadlines. There are always going to be projects that need to be done sharp-ish, but instead of placing all the pressure on just one employee make sure you divvy out the responsibilities.

If you’re unsure how long tasks will take, listen to your employees and get their perspective on the scale of the project. Not only will this give you a grasp on how long you should give them, but it will also let them know that you are listening and taking what they say into account. 


Smoking is incredibly damaging to people’s health, and providing incentives to quit could ultimately improve the life expectancy of your office.

Having a limit on the amount of smoke breaks can be a step in the right direction, but positive reinforcement is always the way to go. Provide the smokers in your office with some of the free NHS stop smoking kits and reward them with treats should they successfully cut down or even kick the habit completely. 

Many non-smokers have always found it unfair that smokers get five-minute breaks throughout the day, but it is healthy to encourage all workers to go outside for a few minutes every now and then on a work day as this will increase the amount of vitamin D they receive and get them away from their screens for a bit if they are desk-based. Vitamin D is needed for the body to absorb calcium and promote bone growth; a lack of this can resort in misshapen bones and hampered body functions.

Practice mindfulness

Although many will scoff at the idea, mindfulness and yoga have become increasingly popular over the last year or so and can truly make a difference on someone’s stress and anxiety levels. You could offer free yoga sessions once a week or month and encourage your employees to take the time to practice mindfulness each day.

Yoga is very good for your body, but also for your mind, so this could help not only the physical fitness of your employees, but their mindfulness too. It doesn’t have to be expensive either – just look up a yoga class online and play the video for the entire office. Not only will this relax your workforce but it could also be great fun and lighten the mood.  

Create the right environment

Forgetting to praise your staff for the good work they’re doing can cause them to become miserable, stressed out and ultimately defeated. Not only is this bad for their mental wellbeing, but it could prevent them from giving the job their all. After all, what’s the point in giving 100 per cent if you’re never praised and only called out for negatives?

Above all, it’s important that you’re talking to your employees and that you know how they’re doing; not just in work, but outside too. Ask how their family is doing, or what they did over the weekend. Creating a little community within a company can be an incredible support network to encourage a healthier lifestyle and a stress-free environment.