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Are Healthier Workers More Productive? Science Says Yes!

By Sean Lockwood.

When it comes to health, you can't change the habits of your workers. What you can do is offer them healthier choices that will increase their productivity.



Employee burnout has become a proper threat nowadays. More and more companies force their employees to work irrational hours which puts a hefty amount of pressure on their shoulders. As a result, all that stress and lack of sleep affect productivity levels. To make the matter worse, some even get sick more often and their mental health deteriorates rapidly. All of this creates an unhealthy work environment that hurts the company the most. When your workers aren’t productive you, a business owner, are the one who will suffer the most. And, even though the statement that healthy employees are more productive employees is not difficult to agree with, the bond between workers’ job performances and their health info is not so easy to establish.

Brigham Young University Research Being healthy and fit is not easy. A person has to eat healthy food and have healthy habits such as regular walks, jogs, sports activities, etc. In order to be fit and healthy, you have to take care of your body and that includes both your physical health and your mental health. One research study that confirms this and focuses mainly on the quality of food workers eat and how it reflects on their productivity is the research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization, Brigham Young University and the Center for Health Research at Healthways shows. According to the study at hand, employees who had healthy eating habits were 25% more likely to have higher job performance. Moreover, employees who ate five or more servings of fruit and veggies at least four times per week were 20% more likely to be more productive. To make the case even stronger, workers who exercised three times a week were 15% more likely to have better job performance. And, when it comes to absenteeism, well, it was 27% lower for those workers who ate healthily and exercised regularly compared to their colleagues who didn’t practice healthy habits.


Encouraging Wellness Goals Bear in mind that it is most likely not possible to convince every single coworker or employee at the workplace to start living their life in a healthier way. It doesn’t matter what wellness programs you find, some people simply won’t be willing to participate. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Roll out your ideas and express your concerns when it comes to well-being. That way you will know if your initiative has support. Also, there are some things that you can change at the workplace that will seamlessly implement healthy habits into your workdays.

Eliminate Junk Food We all love snacks and some groceries that are maybe not as good for as they should be. And, yes, it is impossible to make people stop eating these foods altogether, but at least you can eliminate them at the workplace. Instead of going for chips or sweets, fill your office kitchen with fruits, healthy snacks such as almonds, nuts, and pistachios. That way you will offer healthy choices to your coworkers instead of filling the kitchen with junk almost every single person eats. Provide healthy options, do not force, offer substitutions instead. Offer vegan foods, offer almond milk for keto enthusiasts, find out what people eat and what they believe is best for them. You will see that someone will recognize this and start eating clean.

Exercise & Fitness Devote work time to exercise. Yes, it may seem strange for a company to encourage exercising at the office but research has shown that exercising a bit during the work day leads to better productivity. You can clean out one room at the office and put a yoga ball there or some other fitness equipment. But, sometimes even a brief walk around the desks can help. Of course, this should be the last resort since it’s dull. Know that the biggest companies out there have mini gyms at their HQs. Why don’t you give that a go at your office? Other Options That Help Productivity Of course, if you don’t have the capacity for everything listed above, there are options that come at no price.

  • Flexible work hours – we all have different demands outside of work, allow people to work when they can and you will have happier workers that achieve better results.

  • One-day remote working a week – it’s pretty self-explanatory. Remote workers cost less and they have a chance to de-stress by being at home.

Recap No two souls in this world are the same. You should bear that in mind but still try to encourage positive things. Dissatisfied workers will not produce good work and that is a fact. Health is one of the biggest factors in the workplace and it has to be taken care of properly. Finally, do not enforce, offer choices instead. Just make the choices healthy.

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