This is a case study on Knock Travel, a travel agency with 22 office employees in Ireland. How healthy eating and exercise programs were implemented as part of workplace health and achieved many benefits from the programs.
Staffs of Knock Travel would like the workplace to be as healthy as possible. A survey was done on all the employees, who were asked to identify priority actions for a healthy workplace program. The priorities action identified were as follows:
- Increase the level of physical activities
- Reduce stress in the workplace
- Encourage healthy eating and weight loss where appropriate
- Enhance workstation layout
What Programs Were Introduced?
o The company office was situated in a 3-story building. Employees were encouraged to walk the stairs from top to bottom everyday. If this was done for a year, it would be equivalent to climbing the highest peak, Slieve Donard in North Ireland six-time, which is 850m. Such information spurred the employees on to exercise.
o A Work Well Step-O-Meter Challenge was organized whereby, each employee was given a pedometer to count the number of steps they walk every day for a month. A prize is given to member with the most number of steps.
o Employees can enjoy 15 min neck and shoulder massage at work. Each member gets a 5-pound discount voucher at a health spa for the massage.
o Fruit and Vegetable week was organized each month whereby staff finds different fruits and vegetable on their desk with information on the nutritional value and use.
o A range of healthy smoothie was prepared and served in the pantry.
o Seminar on nutrition and diet was organized
o Information on health related topics were posted on staff notice board.
What is the impact of the programs?
- Increased staff awareness of the benefit of healthy eating leading to a change in eating habits. Lunches are healthier and many people have lost weight.
- More staffs are walking during lunchtime making them refreshed and ready to start work in the afternoon.
- Increase in morale and interaction between departments. There is better team spirit, interpersonal relationship and communication. The various programs have created a buzz around the office.
- There is a reduction in staff absenteeism.
As you can see incorporation of simple combination of nutrition, exercise and education can reap rewards of better workplace health, satisfied employees and ultimately improving the company’s bottom line.
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