MILTON — Sticking to a healthy lifestyle while at work can be difficult. Now that many people are spending most of their day sitting at a desk in front of a computer, implementing health programs inside the workplace has become a vital piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle.
Effective workplace programs, policies, and environments that are health-focused and worker-centered have the potential to significantly benefit employers, employees, their families, and communities.
The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County offers some tips for encouraging employees to make healthier choices and adopt healthier lifestyles.
•Include healthy snack options in vending machines.
Several factors determine what people eat, but access to healthy food and beverages has a major influence. Finding healthy food is not always convenient.
Studies have found that people buy food that is readily available. Include at least one healthier choice in employee vending machines, such as dry-roasted nuts or seeds with no salt or sugar added, 100% whole grain chips, and water instead of sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
•Increase opportunities for physical activity.
Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from being physically active. The more physical activity you do, the greater the health benefits. Identify walking routes inside and outside, encourage the use of stairs instead of elevators, encourage desk exercises or walking in place, and schedule walking meetings.
Being physically active can help:
•Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
•Reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
•Reduce the risk of some cancers.
•Strengthen bones and muscles.
•Improve mental health and mood.
•Improve ability to do daily activities and prevent falls in older adults.
•Increase the chances of living longer.
When the messages around us focus on health, it becomes easier to think about making healthy choices.
The Healthiest Weight Florida initiative seeks to make useful health information and advice available through campaigns, social media, and other resources. To enhance local awareness about weight, the FDOH makes a comprehensive healthiest weight profile available for the state and each of the 67 counties through FLHealth CHARTS. To view your county's profile, visit www.flhealthcharts.com, select Healthiest Weight, and enter your county.
For more information on workplace health, visit the Centers for Disease Control website, www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion.