Employee Wellness Blog

Motivate Your Employees to Eat Better With the Real Food Challenge (Free Toolkit!)

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Feb 19, 2018

It’s no secret that what you eat significantly impacts your health. Your diet can either fuel your body or drag you down. Consuming a diet that is mostly made up of “fake food” (or heavily processed food products) can harm your health with its excessive sugar, calorie, and fat content. By cutting back on fake foods and focusing on a diet filled with real foods, you can reduce your risk of chronic illness, feel more energized, and keep your body happy and healthy.

A new study published in the British Medical Journal gave some new insight on the negative impact that ultra-processed food has on one’s health. A group of French scientists studied the diets of more than 100,000 people and found that eating ultra-processed foods (like cakes, chicken nuggets, instant noodles, and mass-produced bread) put people at a higher risk of developing cancer. A 10% increase in the amount of ultra-processed food consumed was linked to a 12% increase in certain types of cancers. The study also found that processed foods make up about 50% of the average person's diet in several developed countries – which could be contributing to the rising cancer levels.

An increased risk of cancer is just one of the many reasons why heavily processed foods can be dangerous to your health. A diet high in processed foods is also linked to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and nutrient deficiency. This is why it’s important to strive for a healthy, balanced diet filled with more real foods and less fake foods.

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7 Tips For Keeping Your Employees Engaged in Your Wellness Program All Year Long

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Feb 15, 2018

Engaged and motivated employees are the heart of a successful corporate wellness program. They tend to gain more from their company’s wellness initiatives and serve as an example for other employees in the office. This is why HR professionals and wellness professionals are always on the lookout for new ways to maintain and increase employee engagement throughout the year. 

Keeping employees engaged in your workplace wellness program is no small task. Employees can easily lose steam and motivation once wellness activities become repetitive and unchallenging. And without employee engagement and participation, a wellness program would be worthless.

So, whether you’ve had your wellness program up and running for years or if you’re launching your program for the first time, try out these seven tips to help keep your employees engaged in your wellness program all year long:

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Want a Healthier Heart? Eat These Heart-Healthy Foods!

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Feb 12, 2018

We recently blogged about the importance of exercise when it comes to promoting heart health, and while exercise is one of the best things you can do for your heart, you shouldn’t forget about your diet! What you eat has a huge impact on the health of your heart. There are many healthy foods that provide your heart with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your heart needs to perform its best.

In general, a heart-healthy diet should be filled with whole-grains, healthy fats, lean protein, and lots of fruits and veggies. Highly processed foods that are loaded with unhealthy fats, sugars, and sodium can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol – which can both increase your risk of heart disease.

In honor of American Heart Month, we think it’s the perfect time to start focusing your diet on heart-healthy foods. Luckily for you, a lot of heart-healthy foods are delicious and can be used in a variety of meals! Below are 11 heart-healthy foods that you should start including in your diet.

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8 Tips to Help You Ease Back Into Working Out

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Feb 08, 2018

Between crazy work hours, family commitments, and trying to maintain a social life, it’s easy to get a little off track when it comes to your fitness routine. Even missing a few weeks of working out can really set you back on your health goals. Taking a break from exercise can reduce your sense of motivation and make the gym seem more intimidating than it once was.

When you take an extended break from working out, your body notices. Your blood pressure rises, your endurance starts to decrease, your muscles start to shrink, and you might start feeling a bit more grumpy or stressed than you usually are. But the good news is that these changes are completely reversible once you get back into your fitness routine. 

Since regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellbeing, it’s important to get back into your exercise habit after hitting a rut. If you need a bit of a motivation boost to get back on track with your fitness goals, here are eight tips to help you ease back into workout out: 

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Feeling the Effects of Workplace Burnout? Here’s How to Deal

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Feb 05, 2018

When you first started your job, you probably felt excited, enthusiastic, and optimistic about your future at your company. But after a few years, that excitement might have started to dwindle, and you might feel a bit less happy in your role that you once used to love. This is a normal feeling for many full-time employees – especially for those that work in high-stress roles or at high-stress companies.

If you dread going to work and feel like the work you do has become meaningless, you might be suffering from the effects of workplace burnout. Mayo Clinic defines workplace burnout as a special type of stress; it’s a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about the competence and the value of one’s work. Burnout usually occurs when a person experiences long-term stress at their job or feels their role is emotionally and/or physically exhausting. 

Some typical signs of workplace burnout include:

  • Feeling negative or cynical at work
  • Having trouble feeling focused or productive
  • Feeling irritated with colleagues or clients
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor sleep
  • Changes in diet or appetite
  • Taking more sick days than usual
  • Feeling unsatisfied with your achievements
  • Unusual chronic aches or pains – like headaches or backaches 
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Get Your Office Heart Healthy With the #MoveWithHeart Pledge

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Feb 01, 2018

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Each year, about 610,000 people die of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s one in every four deaths. With February being American Heart Month, now is the perfect time to educate yourself and your workforce about the importance of living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Many Americans are at risk of developing heart disease due to high-risk health behaviors. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking are three key risk factors for heart disease. According to the CDC, almost half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these risk factors. Unhealthy lifestyle choices and certain medical conditions can also contribute to a higher risk of heart disease, including:

Although heart disease can be a scary topic, it’s important to spread awareness to help educate your workforce. Since heart disease is largely preventable, employees should be urged to practice heart-healthy behaviors. A healthy heart can be achieved through a nutritious diet, low stress levels, living tobacco-free, and regular exercise. 

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7 Tips to Help You Have Your Best Biometric Screening Yet

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Jan 29, 2018

Hopefully your company offers your employees the opportunity to participate in an annual biometric screening (if not, please click here for your own good!). Yearly screenings are one of the most important aspects of a successful workplace wellness program. Results of these screenings can offer a lot of valuable insight to your employees’ overall health and provide them with their key health numbers, including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides.

These results can be used to track wellness progress year after year, and help keep employees motivated to making healthier lifestyle choices. If your company has done a biometric screening before, you might have noticed that not every employee was thrilled with their results.

It’s normal for most employees to be a bit nervous about what their screening results will say. No one wants to see their numbers fall into unhealthy ranges! It’s important that your employees understand that a biometric screening is just a snapshot of their health at any given moment. It shows them what their numbers are on the specific day and time of their screening. While the screening can be an excellent indicator of overall health, it doesn’t always paint the whole picture.

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Start Focusing on Prevention in Your Employee Wellness Program

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Jan 25, 2018

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2012, about half of all adults – 117 million people – had one or more chronic health conditions, and one in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions. These chronic diseases and conditions – including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, arthritis, and certain types of cancer – are some of the most common, deadliest, and costly health issues in the United States.

The good news is many of these chronic diseases and conditions can be prevented. However, many adults don’t practice preventative behaviors to help lower their risks for these diseases. This could be because many people are uneducated about the power of prevention or how to live a healthier lifestyle to combat these risks. One possible solution for this is developing a workplace wellness program that focuses on prevention. Focusing on the power of prevention could help educate employees on how to reduce their risk for these serious health problems before it’s too late.

Employers should view prevention as a priority for employee wellness. Not only do these chronic diseases and conditions slow down a workforce, they’re extremely costly too. In fact, the CDC states that 86% of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual healthcare expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions. Because many of these costs can be reduced through preventative healthcare, it’s crucial that employers emphasis prevention in their employee wellness programs.

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8 of the Best Mental Health and Self-Care Apps You Need to Download

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Jan 22, 2018

With approximately 48.3 million adults in the United States experiencing a mental illness each year, prioritizing mental health and practicing self-care is essential. However, finding time to prioritize your mental health and practice self-care can be difficult for most full-time employees. Busy schedules and long hours can make it difficult to schedule therapist appointments or find the time to read a self-help book. 

Luckily, you can now use your phone to boost your mental health. Technology has come a long way in the last decade, and there’s now an app for almost everything – including mental health and self-care. Using apps is an easy, convenient, and affordable way to boost your mental and emotional health. Plus, it’s not nearly as time-consuming as other alternatives. 

Below are eight of the best mental health and self-care apps that you should utilize to feel less stressed, improve your mood, and feel happier and healthier.

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Is the Food at Your Office Sabotaging Employee Health?

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Jan 18, 2018

Having unlimited access to free, unhealthy food five days a week is a big challenge for many employees. Donuts, soda, birthday cake, and bagels tempt employees to overindulge during the workday. After all, these foods are usually free and convenient! But employers should be mindful of the types of food and drinks they are supplying employees with because it can really impact employee health. 

The 2018 Employee Health and Wellness Checkup by Robert Half shared some insight on what employees think of office food. This survey of 306 HR managers and 1,006 workers in the US found that workers’ listed their biggest obstacle in achieving their health and wellness goals as: 

  • Food at office celebrations – 30%
  • Snacks brought in by coworkers – 22%
  • Free meals – 10%
  • Vending machines – 10%
  • Office candy jar – 10%
  • Happy hours/after-work drinks – 9%
  • Business trips – 8%
  • Bagel Mondays – 3% 

These findings show us that unhealthy foods found in offices are one of the biggest challenges for full-time employees who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. The survey also found that 44% of employees claim to eat healthier when they work from home. This could be because many employees are tempted by unhealthy choices throughout the workday. From leftover birthday cupcakes to regular pizza parties, it can be hard for employees to make smart nutritional choices.

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